Transportation fixes: A long time coming
The last time that a major transportation proposal passed the Virginia General Assembly was in 1986. I was 4 years old; the average price of a gallon of gas was 89 cents; IBM introduced the PC Convertible, the first portable "laptop;" Mike Tyson became the world's youngest heavyweight champion; Whitney Houston had the top-selling album; and "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise, was a smash hit at the box office.
Twenty-seven years later, Virginians are wasting more and more time sitting white-knuckled in oceans of red brake lights; ridership on Virginia's mass transit systems such as Norfolk's Tide, Metro, VRE, and buses are at record highs; and Virginia's Amtrak Regional trains have seen their ridership explode as more and more communities across the commonwealth want access to Washington, New York City, Boston, and destinations in Virginia and the Southeast.
The time is now to start reinvesting in the economic prosperity of our commonwealth. I ask our state senators to come together and pass a transportation plan that funds the commonwealth's regional Amtrak trains, fixes our roads and bridges and adds much-needed capacity to transit systems. We cannot wait another 27 years!
Mr. Plaugher is executive director of Virginians for High Speed Rail.