The mission of the RMTA is to build and operate a variety of public facilities and offer public services, especially transportation related, within the Richmond metropolitan area, each of which is operated and financed primarily by user fees. Our efforts are dedicated to the following constituents:
Angela L. Gray was named RMTA Chief Executive Officer in January 2013. She has more than 20 years of federal, state and local public sector experience, most recently serving as budget officer for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation. She has also held public sector executive leadership positions with the Cities of North Adams, Massachusetts, and Belton, Texas.
Her career highlights include:
As RMTA CEO, Gray is responsible for developing and directing the Authority’s long-range planning and development activities, including financial management systems, legislation, planning and design work, and construction activities. She also leads the organization’s regional partnership with the regional local governments, civil and special interest groups.
Gray holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Park University, a master’s of public administration from Texas State University, and a master’s of business administration from Georgetown University.
Gray has served on a number of boards for several cities, including, but not limited to, Planning and Zoning, Historical and Conservation Commissions, Airport Commission, and Tree Commission.
Joi Taylor Dean joined the RMTA as the Chief of Staff in August of 2014. Ms. Dean has over a decade of experience in the legal and political arena. She most recently was the President of the Dean Strategy Group, a company that specializes in high value public affairs at the intersection of business, government, and politics. Previously, she worked for eight years in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office where she was appointed as a Special Assistant to the New Jersey Attorney General and served as a Legal Specialist in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution, Antitrust, and Affirmative Litigation sections of the Attorney General’s Office Division of Law. In her role, Ms. Dean will work closely with the General Manager with input and responsibility for all facets of the Authority including developing policy related to RMTA operations, managing RMTA public relations and community outreach, tracking and monitoring state and federal legislation, and conferring with RMTA legal counsel as necessary on a range of issues.
Ms. Dean holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science from Hampton University and a Juris Doctor from William and Mary Law School.
Sheryl B. Johnson joined the RMTA in February 2001 as human resources manager. She transitioned to director of human resources in July 2014. Johnson is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all human resources activities of the Authority, including policy and program development, recruitment, performance management, employee relations, compensation, and benefits management.
Ms. Johnson received a B.A. in Foreign Language (Interdisciplinary Major Program) from the University of Virginia, and holds the Professional in Human Resources designation (PHR). Johnson is a member of the National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR). Ms. Johnson brings 20+ years of professional human resources experience to the RMTA.
Theresa M. Simmons, P.E. joined the RMTA in September 2010 as the RMTA engineer. In December 2013, she was promoted to director of operations. She is responsible for the operation of the Powhite Parkway, the Downtown Expressway, and the Boulevard Bridge; operations at The Diamond baseball stadium and Main Street Station. Ms. Simmons also represents the RMTA as a voting member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Richmond Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The MPO is the region’s federally designated regional transportation planning organization that serves as the forum for cooperative transportation decision-making in the Richmond Region.
Her role also includes working with the General Manager on short-range and long-range planning. She also analyzes project designs and interprets data in an effort to provide sound advice and to make recommendations to the General Manager and Board of Directors on operational and project specific matters. She is also involved in the evaluation, designing and planning of new projects and major improvements to RMTA assets.
Ms. Simmons received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of South Alabama with a work background in site construction, material testing, highway design, and geotechnical experience. In addition Ms. Simmons earned a MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also has a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Alabama and is a graduate of the executive development program from International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association Leadership Academy. Ms. Simmons brings 16 years of project planning and engineering design to the RMTA. Ms. Simmons is a registered Professional Engineer in Alabama and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Darius Johnson was appointed to the Board as a City of Richmond representative in July 2010 and elected Chair of the Board in June 2016. Johnson is currently the Senior Vice President and Senior Client Manager of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He was previously President of Consolidated Bank & Trust Co, where he oversaw the Central and Eastern Virginia markets of the Bank, serving as the local Commercial and Retail Banking Executive. Johnson received a BA from the University of Virginia and a MBA from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business at University of Richmond and a graduate degree from Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania
Virgil Hazelett was appointed to the Board as a Henrico County representative in April 2013 and elected Vice Chair of the Board in June 2016. Hazelett initially served as Henrico County’s first Traffic Engineer, progressing through various positions until becoming County Manager and serving in that capacity for 21 years. Hazelett has a MS in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University as well as a BS in Civil Engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology.
Carlos M. Brown was appointed to the Board as a City of Richmond representative in February 2011 and served as Chair of the Board from July of 2012 to July of 2015. Brown is the Director of Alternative Energy Solutions Business Development and Commericialization Strategies for Dominion Resources Services, Inc, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc., one of the nation’s largest energy companies. Prior to his current role Brown served as Senior Counsel for Dominion, where he was responsible for the legal execution of the company’s intellectual property, capital markets, merger and acquisition, and venture capital transactions. Prior to joining Dominion Resources, he co-founded and served as managing partner of Brown Martin, PC, advising private corporations, non-profits and limited liability companies on organization, strategic transactions, governance and shareholder dispute issues. Brown earned his Bachelor’s of Arts and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia.
Harvey Hinson was appointed to the Board as a Henrico County representative in July 2014. Hinson is retired from Henrico County after 46 of service in various positions serving the last 15 years as Deputy County Manager for Community Development. Hinson is a Rotarian and a U.S. Army veteran. His degrees include a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning, a BS in Urban Studies and a Certificate in Drafting and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Dr. Unwanna Dabney was appointed to the Board as a Richmond City representative in October 2016. Dr. Dabney has 19 years of experience managing local, regional and statewide programs and projects. She currently works as the Virginia and West Virginia Planning and Environment Manager for WSP |Parsons Brinckerhoff and leads business development initiatives in the planning and environmental markets and directs planning and environmental staff in the firm’s Herndon and Virginia Beach offices. She has extensive prior experience with the Federal Highway Administration and the Virginia Department of Transportation and has managed transportation and policy projects and environmental efforts in Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Dr. Dabney has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University; Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University; and B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology from South Carolina State University.
Jim Holland was appointed to the board as a Chesterfield County representative in July of 2014 and served as Chair of the Board from July of 2015 to July 2016. Holland currently serves on the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors representing the Dale District. He was elected as the Board’s Vice Chairman in 2010. He was elected as the Board’s Chairman in 2014. Mr. Holland is the President of Holland & Company, CPA located in Chesterfield County. He is retired from Philip Morris USA International. He is also a Professor of Accounting and CPA Advisor at Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of Gates, North Carolina, he received a Master’s in Business Administration in 1980 from North Carolina Central University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Fayetteville State University in 1979, with honors.
Tyrone Nelson was appointed to the Board as a Henrico County representative in July 2014. Nelson serves on the Henrico County Board of Supervisors representing the Varina District. He is also pastor of the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond. Nelson earned an Associate’s degree in Business Administration from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master of Divinity in Practical Theology degree from Virginia Union University.
Lane Ramsey was appointed to the Board as a Chesterfield County representative in October 2016. Ramsey is a Managing Principal of DecideSmart, a consulting firm aiding organizations in effecting real change. Ramsey served for over 35 years in Chesterfield government, including 20 years as the County Administrator. In 1997, he received the Academy for Public Administration’s prestigious national Public Service Award. His expertise is in strategic planning and assisting entities with operational and efficiency reviews. Ramsey has a BBA in Business Administration and Management from Mars Hill University.
Marvin Tart, Sr. was appointed to the Board as a Henrico County representative in July 2014. Tart represents the Fairfield District on the County Transportation Safety Commission where he has served for six years. He is a retired VDOT employee with over 40 years of experience. At VDOT, Tart held various positions as a transportation designer and planner. His vast experience also included stints as a project and program manager. Tart earned an Associate’s degree in Engineering Technology from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, Tart has earned certificates in project management from The George Washington University and traffic management from Northwestern University. Tart is a 1995 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond.
Reverend Dr. Rodney D. Waller is Tenth Senior Pastor of the third oldest African American Church in the United States, The First African Baptist Church of Richmond, VA.
Dr. Waller earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Religious studies from Virginia Union University, a Master of Divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Virginia Union University of Lynchburg
Marilyn West was appointed to the Board as a City of Richmond representative in September 2012. West is Chairwoman and CEO of M.H. West & Co., a 22 year old Virginia-based consulting company specializing in management, planning and education services. West has over 30 years of experience working with CEOs, executive management, and governance of public and private sector businesses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania and a masters degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.
Gregory A. Whirley was appointed to the Board as a Chesterfield County representative in July 2014. Whirley retired from the Virginia Department of Transportation after 26 years of service progressing to the Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Whirley is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Virginia State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting.
Dick White was appointed to the Board as a Chesterfield County representative in July 1998. White is a managing partner of Cowan, Kouri & White, LLC, an employee benefits and insurance brokerage firm. He is a member of Chesterfield County’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and the 360 Corridor Committee. White is a graduate of the Tennessee Technological University.
William L. Woodfin, Jr. was appointed to the Board as a Chesterfield County representative in July 2014. He is retired from a career in natural resources management. He holds a bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Richmond and a master of science in environmental sciences and engineering from Virginia Tech.
In accordance with legislation by the Virginia General Assembly, the Authority is managed by a sixteen member Board. In addition to the Board, the organization is made up of key executive staff to manage: Engineering, Finance, Human Resources and Auditing. Executive staff has oversight of the 130 staff members of the Authority.
In 2013 Angela Gray was named CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The executive staff manages all necessary functions of the Authority including but not limited to; engineering, finance, human resources, auditing, procurement, toll collection (manual and electronic) and maintenance.
Effective July 1, 2014, the Virginia General Assembly enacted 4761-001 which renamed the RMA to the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority (RMTA) and changed the board composition. As a result, the Board of Directors governing the RMTA was increased from 11 members to 16. Five members are appointed by each jurisdiction: the mayor of the City of Richmond (with the approval of the Richmond City Council), and Boards of Supervisors of Chesterfield and Henrico Counties. Each jurisdiction may appoint one of their five members as an elected official. Additionally, one ex-officio member is appointed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Board. In addition to the 16 board members, the RMTA is assisted by a Secretary and General Counsel who takes the minutes of the meetings and provides legal assistance as needed
The Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority is an independent authority and political subdivision that was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1966. It was formed originally to build and maintain a toll expressway system to serve the Richmond metropolitan area. Although the act has been amended to authorize the RMTA to own and operate other facilities, including parking decks, coliseums and arenas, the act and the Authority’s several bond resolutions prohibit the commingling of funds of various projects. Thus, for example, tolls collected on the expressway system cannot and do not subsidize operations of other facilities. The RMTA has an 16-member board of directors. The board is comprised of five members appointed by the Richmond City Council; five appointed by Chesterfield County’s Board of Supervisors; five appointed by Henrico County’s Board of Supervisors; and one from the Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Board.
It may appear that a toll is another form of taxation, but there is a crucial difference. Taxation cannot be avoided. A toll road can. It is an option. There are alternate routes drivers could use instead of taking a toll road. Paying a toll is a prime example of a user fee. The drivers who use the toll road pay for it. The benefit of the toll road is only the people who use it are charged to cover the expense of constructing and maintaining it.
The RMTA gets income from fees charged at its facilities. On the RMTA Expressway System, the fee is in the form of tolls. The tolls are required by law and contract with the bondholders to be sufficient to maintain and operate the expressway system and pay debt service on the outstanding bonds. The RMTA doesn’t receive tax dollars (federal, state or local) nor do we get any of the gasoline tax.
In September 2008, tolls were increased citing the ever-increasing costs of maintaining the roadway system and implementing future improvements. It is estimated that continued maintenance and capital improvements to the Expressway System for the next 10 years will reach $80 million. The Authority’s last toll increase was in 1998. Prior to 1998, the last toll increase occurred in 1988. The toll rates are certified by the RMTA’s traffic and revenue consultants after determining the amount needed to pay for operating costs, repair and contingency fund deposits, and expressway debt service. Each year, they send a certification letter. The bond indentures require the RMTA to repay a specified portion of the principal each year as well as payments on the interest. All toll increases are approved by the RMTA Board of directors.
Our bondholders lend us the money that we repay with interest. They are similar to stockholders in that they make this investment to make money.
When you borrow money to purchase an automobile, for example, the bank will hold the title as collateral. The RMTA’s collateral is the revenue we earn collecting tolls. Just like the person who borrows to buy a car or a home, the RMTA must repay the principal borrowed and interest.
The bond indenture (the contract between the RMTA and the bondholders) specifies the repayment conditions of the loan. The RMTA’s bond indentures require the Authority to maintain a cash reserve to protect the bondholders should some catastrophic event prevent the repayment of the bonds. The reserve would cover the debt service (payments) during the recovery period. Bonds are scheduled to be paid off in 2041.
The Powhite Parkway, Forest Hill Interchange, Downtown Expressway, Boulevard Bridge and all the toll machines at on- and off-ramps generated $41.0 million in fiscal year 2016. The RMTA is audited annually by a certified auditing firm.
The total expense of the Expressway System includes not just operating expenses, but also the repayment of bonds and payments into the Repair and Contingency (R&C) Fund. The bond debt is repaid with one annual payment to principal and two payments to interest.
The RMTA also maintains a reserve that was established when the bonds were issued. That money is held by the trustee and invested.
In fiscal year 2016, the RMTA conducted 62.3 million transactions on its Expressway System. The toll rates for two-axle vehicles are 70 cents for the Downtown Expressway, Powhite Parkway, and Forest Hill Interchange; 35 cents for the Boulevard and 2nd Street Ramps, 30 cents for the 11th Street Ramps, and 20 cents for the Douglasdale Road Ramps. Also, rates are higher for vehicles with more than two axles. Therefore, it would be inaccurate to multiply 62 million by 70 cents to determine annual revenue, as some have tried to do.
It is difficult to estimate a daily average since there is a dramatic difference in traffic numbers between a weekday and a weekend day. The RMTA’s expressway system is primarily a commuter route. The numbers drop significantly on the weekend.
There are a lot of factors that impact traffic: weather, summer vacation, major events with large attendance (such as a race at Richmond International Raceway) to name a few.
When accidents occur on other major commuter routes, traffic increases on the RMTA’s expressway system, as drivers use it to avoid the accident area.
Generally speaking, traffic might reach its highest on a sunny Friday in May and its lowest on an icy Tuesday in February. Traffic might boom over Labor Day weekend but be very slow Christmas Day.
The Posted Speed limit through the Open Road Tolling zones (ORT or E-ZPass Lanes) on the Downtown Expressway and Powhite Parkway is 45 mph. The Design Speed limit on any section of road is determined by various geometric features including, but not limited to the following: roadway superelevation, vertical and horizontal curve alignments, sight distance, surrounding topography, traffic weaving patterns, adjacent land use and functional classification of the roadway.
During the planning and design of the ORT zones, traffic engineering studies were performed and the roadway features analyzed. The studies determined a maximum Design Speed of 45 mph. And based on VDOT’s Road & Bridge Standard Specifications for low-speed designs of 45 mph or less, the Design Speed shall be equal to or greater than the Posted Speed. In other words, the Posted Speed can’t be greater than the Design Speed.
Therefore, to ensure public safety, roadway design utilizes roadway geometry, traffic volumes, free-flowing traffic speed and the volume of merging vehicles to dictate a maximum allowable Posted Speed limit. And in the case of the ORT zones on the Downtown Expressway and Powhite Parkway, is 45 mph.
Last Modified: 10/27/2016
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Last modified: 10/27/2016
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