Del. Ken Plum: Transit Means Business

by Del. Ken Plum May 28, 2015 at 11:00 am 19 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoA couple of weeks ago, I dropped off my Prius for service at a dealership near the Spring Hill Station on the Silver Line and caught the Metro for a one-stop trip to the Greensboro Station.

At the conference center there, I participated in an exciting forum sponsored by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) about transit and its importance to business. Released at the forum were the results of a new study by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University that concluded that “if Northern Virginia is going to be able to effectively compete for non-government related, private sector business development, it must have a state-of-the-art, effective, financially sustainable, and efficient multimodal public transit system.”

It was particularly appropriate that the meeting that attracted more than 140 business, community, and political leaders was held at Tysons Corner.

Tysons is already undergoing a transformation with the Silver Line and other transportation improvements. There is no stronger proof of the impact of what mass transit can do than to get off at the Tysons Station on the Silver Line and walk directly from the station to the new plaza with a new hotel, restaurants, and office buildings. Already a commercial success, the area now has a great sense of place and community.

Former businessman and now Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane spoke at the conference about the linkage of transit and business development.

As quoted in the May 2015 issue of NOVA Transit News he said: “Phase One is helping to facilitate the transformation of the Tysons area into an urban, walkable center with 200,000 jobs and 100,000 residents. At the Wiehle-Reston East station alone, close to one billion in private investment has been stimulated by the Silver Line. This project is a huge economic driver for the Commonwealth because it connects people to opportunity, stimulates localized economic growth, and provides businesses with a wider pool of consumers who can access their goods and services.”

While the forum was recognition of the success that has been realized in making the region more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and transit supported, it was also a clear call for help in order for more progress to be realized. Federal and state officials need to come up with the funding necessary-especially for Metro. Local governments need to consider transportation issues in making land use decisions and in planning more connectivity with the Metro system. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is eagerly seeking suggestions from citizens; go to the website at www.novatransit.org.

The Dulles Corridor Rail Association (DCRA), whose board I chair, will give special recognition at its spring event to the transformation that is occurring at Tysons Corner with the work of the Tysons Partnership. In addition, retiring Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon) will be honored for his contributions to transportation in our region.

DCRA’s spring meeting and reception will be held on the concourse of Tysons Corner Center on June 2, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.More information is available by contacting [email protected]

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. His opinion is not necessarily that of Reston Now.

  • MJay

    Plum might want to take the Metro more than one stop at some point in his life before just knee-jerk opting to throw more money into the system. Then he can experience the very frequent fun known as “single tracking,” constant delays, ridiculous weekend trains, and my personal favorite, offloading a crowded train onto an already packed platform. Meanwhile, Metro fails to provide adequate information and continues to beef up its public relations arm to no real effect. Metro has a management problem and any financial issues are of its own making… Barbara Comstock has taken the train on many occasions and has been rather pragmatic on the balance between funding and Metro reform, but Plum has demonstrated that he won’t work with a Republican to save his life, so I don’t think Plum is really a credible voice from the state on this issue.

    • Vina Hutchinson

      If Metro is not going to add more cars to the trains, or schedule more frequent train runs, then the whole system is going to implode when the new stations open in 2020. As it is, the Reston train is so packed some morning rush hours, that sometimes as early as East Falls Church but definitely by Rosslyn, passengers are forced to shove their way on and off the train.

      • MJay

        This is why we need pragmatic leaders that can take stock of reasonable amounts of funding while also dealing with the issue of real, tangible Metro reform. The system is imploding through years of poor leadership and financial mismanagement. Throwing money at the problem without holding Metro’s feet to the fire isn’t going to solve the institutional problems. Based on Plum’s extreme partisan behavior, as well as his apparent lack of knowledge when it comes to Metro/WMATA, I do not believe he is the one to effectuate the necessary funding and institutional changes.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Jobs for people-pushers are just one of the many economic benefits of the new system!

        • meh

          looks like a great job for TSA, they are experts at feeling up commuters.

  • WhoIsJohnGalt

    Ken can come back to me after riding from Vienna to Pentagon Center and back for 3 weeks during rush hour. We’ll see his tune change after being crammed like a sardine, off-loaded, wondering why the A/C isn’t working and being miserable.

    A tourist can take the METRO once a year and think it’s great. A regular knows the pitfalls of this cluster

  • Ricky Spanish


  • hybrid

    I got to “Prius” and then I stopped reading.

    • Ming the Merciless

      Don’t hate Prius drivers just because they have fluid gender identities and demand their own special bathrooms.

      • Sorebonius

        Prehaps FCPS should introduce discussions about Prii to Middle School Students.

        • Mike M

          Love your Latin, babe!

    • Mike M

      The 2016 models have a glowing pale blue orb of self-righteousness.

  • Ming the Merciless

    Federal and state officials need to come up with the funding necessary-especially for Metro.

    People elsewhere in the country, and elsewhere in Virginia, need to pay for the DC area metro that benefits local people and businesses because…. why, exactly? Why shouldn’t something with a local benefit be paid for by the locals?

  • HP

    Eff off Plum. Sign up for Metro Alerts and see if that changes your tune…D-Bag.

  • Mike M

    Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. His opinion is not necessarily worth a grain of salt nor a minute of your time.

  • HP

    Karen, why so sensitive?? Seems you’re so quick to remove posts related to Plummy, I have to wonder why you’re so protective of poor lil Plum. I’m just simply stating my opinion in this “Opinion” piece.

    • Karen Goff

      Because you called him a name that violates our terms of service. You are welcome to disagree with him here, but not make personal attacks.

      • HP

        Wahhhh….I just call em like I see em. Period.

  • Wings!!

    Could have dropped your Prius off at the Hooters in Reston and sat down to a cold beer and plate of wings.


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