Arlington County's approved Board Agenda Item at its Oct. 16, 2021 meeting regarding its application to NVTA for the FY2022- 2027 SYP stated, "The project provides a second entrance to the station at North Fairfax Drive and North Vermont Street. This is almost a quarter of a mile west of the existing entrance, greatly expanding multimodal access to the station and providing greater capacity to and efficiency for Metrorail." The project will include two street-level elevators, stairs connecting to an underground passageway, and a new mezzanine with stairs and elevators to the train platform.
The FY2022-2027 SYP NVTA Staff Recommendations by Keith Jasper, Principal, Transportation Planning and Programming, noted that the "Long Term Benefit" requirement “explicitly” affected the Ballston-MU West Metrorail Station Entrance. Such led to the recommendation for full funding. Other factors included in the recommendation of funding for the project were "overwhelming public support, strong TransAction project rating, and modal/geographic balance," according to the NVTA staff recommendations.
Funding for the Ballston West Entrance is supported not only by regional funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority but state funding and private developer contributions. The County Board approved local funds for the project, and the county is seeking additional state and regional funding to fund the project fully.
NVTA received 26 FY2022-2026 SYP transportation candidate projects, from which they adopted 20 multimodal transportation projects for full or partial funding. Of the other 19 awarded projects, six are in Fairfax County; one in the Town of Herndon; one in the City of Falls Church; two in the City of Alexandria; four in Loudoun County; four in Prince William County; and one in the City of Manassas. Arlington County's Ballston-MU Metro Rail Station West Entrance is one of NVTA's three largest funding projects at $80 million, tied for second place with Fairfax County's Richmond Highway Route 1 BRT (bus rapid transit). Fairfax County's $108 million for the Fairfax County Parkway Widening topped all projects.
NVTA adopted the FY2022–2027 SYP, allocating nearly $625 million for the projects by a vote of its members that was both unanimous and nonpartisan. "That is just a very impressive thing to be able to do in this day and age," said Phyllis J. Randall, NVTA chair and Loudon County chair (D-At-Large), who spoke at a press conference Friday morning, July 15.
During the press conference, Monica Brockman, chief executive officer of NVTA, said that NVTA is in its sixth funding program. The passage of HB 2313 is the transportation funding bill. "We are looking at slightly over $3 billion ($3.12) in regional multimodal congestion relief solutions right here in Northern Virginia."
NVTA is a regional governmental entity of 17 members established to plan, prioritize, and fund regional transportation programs. The program funds what the Authority has deemed the most important transportation projects to relieve congestion to cost and improve the quality of life for Northern Virginians. The program focuses on geographic and modal balance.
NVTA funds pedestrian and bicycle modes only if they lead to a more extensive transport system. "If there is a bike path that leads you to the metro, then that is something we will look at. But for NVTA overall, our first goal is to do congestion relief," Randall said.
NVTA's next Call for Regional Transportation Projects is anticipated for May 2023. Subscribe to NVTA's newsletters at TheNoVaAuthority.org