WHEREAS, the Board of County Supervisors of Albemarle County, Virginia, support the appeals of Virginia citizens, Governor Mark Warner, and his predecessor Governor Jim Gilmore, with overwhelming support from the Virginia General Assembly during the 2005 and 2000 Sessions, respectively, have clearly and decisively placed the Commonwealth of Virginia in a leadership position, with meaningful funding support, in pursuit of a more fully-developed intercity rail network for the movement of both people and goods; and


            WHEREAS, Virginia and other states, notably neighboring North Carolina, recognize that a national rail network is essential to the ultimate success of rail development to augment and relieve other modes of transportation currently under stress.  No single state can do it alone; and


            WHEREAS, Virginia lacks a Federal partner, without which the intercity rail development hopes and aspirations of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved; and


WHEREAS, the current Amtrak restructuring initiative of the Bush Administration, as articulated by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta, represents both an opportunity as well as a serious risk to the interests and long-term objectives of the Commonwealth of Virginia, its business and commercial interests, and our citizens; and


            WHEREAS, the risk is that much of what we have in place today might be lost in an overly-simplistic approach to the “purging” of Amtrak.  The National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak) represents but a very thin veneer concealing much deeper and more fundamental problems that adversely affect the viability and handling capacity of the U.S. rail network – both freight and passenger; and


            WHEREAS, the deteriorating rail situation in the U.S. has spiraled downward for more than fifty years.  It would be unrealistic to expect to correct it overnight.  It cannot be fixed without MORE, rather than less, public funding at the Federal level; and


WHEREAS, a goal of the United Jefferson Area Mobility Plan (UnJam 2025), which combines the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Transportation (CHART) Plan for the Metropolitan Planning Organization area with the Rural Area Transportation Long Range Plan, is to improve regional rail service and support the movement of passenger service where possible; and


            WHEREAS, the UnJam recommends increased passenger rail service for both local and regional commuter and intra/interstate travel options; and


WHERAS, the UnJam recommends improved headways for freight to clear up time for passenger service, regular and consistent time slots for passenger service and improved technology so that freight and people can better coexist on the same railway;


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County, Virginia, hereby seek your leadership in formulating a multi-year, phased solution; a solution that is transformative rather than one that is precipitous and punitive.  We urge you to protect the passenger rail infrastructure and services that we now have in place in Virginia, and to complement such transitional efforts with a well-conceived Federal program that, like Federal support for highways, ports and aviation, enhances and promotes rail transportation in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and its privately-owned railroads.


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