Regional Transit Authority
The idea of a Regional Transit Authority has been discussed several times over the years. A major study was conducted in the late 2000's to create an authority to replace Charlottesville Area Transit but the idea was shelved when the General Assembly declined to pass legislation to allow the community to hold a referendum on a potential sales tax increase to pay for additional service. Instead, a Regional Transit Partnership was formed in late 2017 to seek to encourage ways for the existing transit agencies of Charlottesville Area Transit, JAUNT and the University Transit System to better work together.
Regional Transit Partnership
History and formation
Beginning in 2016, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission conducted a study of how existing transit systems can work together short of forming an authority.  The City Council and Board of Supervisors agreed to the idea in principle in February 2017 and formally agreed to enter into the partnership in September 2017. Monthly meetings began in October 2017.  
One of the first results of the partnership was to work up a new funding agreement through which Albemarle County would pay the city of Charlottesville for fixed-route service going forward.  Albemarle County and Charlottesville signed the agreement in July 2019. 
Albemarle County is exploring other transit options to support its government services, such as the move of the county's registrar office to Albemarle Square in the middle of 2020.  That idea was later discarded due to the COVID-19 Emergency.
February 27, 2020 meeting
Among the items discussed was a city review of dockless scooter data. (study)
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation has awarded the TJPDC two grants to assist with a regional transit vision and to create a vision for how transit in Albemarle County might be expanded. 
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History of transit in the wider community
In the mid-20th century, several different companies operated different bus lines across the region. For instance, the Davis and Laurence Bus Company began service between Mission Home and Charlottesville in March 1948 to capacity crowds.  In the late 1970's, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission explored the possibility of forming a committee to unite the region's bus systems. 
The rise and fall of the Regional Transit Authority and creation of the Partnership
At their July 19, 2006 meeting, the Policy Board of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved a resolution of intent committing the Charlottesville and Albemarle County to the establishment of a regional transit authority.  The University of Virginia agreed to be at the table but did not commit to the idea of joining the authority. 
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Transit Authority (RTA) was enabled by the Virginia General Assembly in 2009 by HB2158.  However, a bill to allow Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents to vote on a proposed sales tax increase to fund the RTA's operations did not pass. Soon after, stakeholders agreed to pursue the idea and continued meeting on a provisional basis to continue planning.  The idea was shelved in the spring of 2010 following budgetary concerns about continuing to meet.  
A dispute about funding triggered renewed interest in an authority. In January, Charlottesville Area Transit manager John Jones told members of the MPO Policy Board that a new route would be established to serve 5th Street Station when stores began to open in the fall. He said service would be provided a month before the opening of the Wegmans. The launch of the bus was funded in part by a $100,000 one-time cash payment from Riverbend Development that was a condition of the 2008 rezoning that allowed the shopping center to be built. 
Meanwhile, JAUNT pursued plans to introduce a commuter service between Hollymead Town Center, the University of Virginia and downtown Charlottesville with funds provided through a proffer for the town center. This Route 29 Express was opposed by developer Wendell Wood. 
The Route 29 service launched on May 2, 2016. 
In September, Albemarle supervisors asked to be given more information about routes that travel through the county.  In early October, supervisors and councilors agreed to study a regional transit authority once again. 
Additionally, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro has studied regional transit between Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.   A request for funding for a pilot program was not successful so the two agencies examined a reduced program or a van-pool program.  Another attempt to create the Afton Express is coming before local governments in 2020. 
Elected officials agree to create the regional transit partnership in September 2017. 
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- Web. Hollymead developer seeks changes to transit proffer, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 23, 2016, retrieved January 2, 2017.
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