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New Stimulus Money To Fuel N. Va. Transportation

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As congestion gets worse in Northern Virginia, buses can sit in traffic and run late. That creates the need for more buses, which contributes to traffic congestion.

Transportation officials hope tens of millions of dollars in new stimulus money will result in a solution.

"The stimulus money is going to provide them with traffic-signal priority that will see the bus coming, turn the light green or extend the green so the buses can get through intersections and make their schedule," says Eric Randall, a senior transportation engineer for the Council of Governments.

Other projects that will be funded by stimulus grants signed this week include $10 million for new clean-fuel buses, $10 million for new bus bays at Metro stations and $8.5 million for construction for dedicated lanes for buses that will be built in the median of Route 1 in Alexandria.

"Right now, we are moving forward with construction of this busway, which will then enable BRT, bus rapid transit, to be introduced in the Washington metropolitan region for the first time," Randall says.

Don't expect that to happen anytime soon -- the projected date of completion is October 2013.

Michael Pope also reports for Northern Virginia's Connection Newspapers.

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