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Letter from CEO Rich Dalton

Letter from the CEO

 

Rich Dalton, CEO

When I met with the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, and other transit leaders in our region earlier this month, I was pleased to hear that the Biden administration is fully behind coronavirus relief funding for public transportation. The Secretary emphasized that dependable public transit systems are critical for a robust economy recovery. He shared that the administration plans to heavily invest in and expand rail infrastructure, which bodes well for the commonwealth’s Transforming Rail in Virginia program.

After our meeting, Sec. Buttigieg spoke with frontline workers from VRE, Amtrak, MARC and Metro. In comments to the media, he focused on the necessity of protecting their health and safety, as well as that of passengers, with the help of a new federal mask mandate, the details of which can be found in this issue of RIDE.

Facial coverings are just one of the tools VRE employs to ensure the health and safety of passengers. Our enhanced cleaning protocols, as well as social distancing requirements and the availability of hand sanitizer on platforms and rail cars, are designed to protect passengers and train crews to the fullest extent possible. If you have not taken our 3-D train tour, which is covered elsewhere in this edition of RIDE, I would encourage you to do so and see the protective measures we’ve put in place.

Among those measures is our newly updated mobile ticketing app, which provides a contactless way for riders to purchase and use VRE fare media. Future updates to VRE Mobile will include trip-planning tools, real-time parking availability, and Amtrak arrival information. An article on the app can be found in this issue of RIDE.

To our current passengers, I want to thank you for the trust you have placed in VRE to get you to your destination safely. To our former riders, I want to assure you that when you are once again ready to commute, we will continue to do everything within our power to protect your health and safety. You are our top priority. I look forward to welcoming you back soon.