Passengers exit the TAGS shuttle in Springfield at Metro Park.
About the Transportation Association of Greater Springfield
Residents, business-owners and employees who work or travel in Springfield, Virginia are no strangers to traffic woes. The community is home to the Springfield Interchange, the junction where Interstates 95, 395 and 495 meet and mix in a maze of flyovers, bridges and ramps. Until an eight-year construction project rebuilt the interchange, the 400,000 drivers who traveled it daily endured risky merge areas and terrible traffic delays. Today, drivers enjoy the improved interchange, which was completed in 2007. But in neighborhood streets, transportation challenges persist.
Citizens and employees in Springfield can turn to a local non-profit for help. The Transportation Association of Greater Springfield (TAGS) was created in 1999 to educate the community about and advocate for creative commuting options in the Springfield region. The organization, a public-private transportation management association, is dedicated to improving the local transportation system.
To support its efforts, TAGS works closely with Fairfax County and Metro to market transit services and alternative commute options to local residents and businesses. Together, they help to fund a flexible, inexpensive shuttle bus service, owned and operated by Metro, that runs to major commercial districts, transportation hubs and retail areas throughout the area. They also regularly host programs to educate the community on transportation-related issues.
TAGS started the Friends of TAGS program in 2011 to strengthen relationships with local businesses and those who ride the group’s shuttle. The program bolsters grassroots support and encourages residents to stay informed of key transportation issues.
495 Express Lanes Community Grant Support
The TAGS organization is funded both by public and private funds, both of which have become tougher to obtain during the economic recovery. Given the success of the first Friends of TAGS event in 2011, the group wanted to connect with their constituents again in 2012. A community grant from Transurban-Fluor helped TAGS fund both the first and second Friends of TAGS events.
At the event, volunteers staffed tables adjacent to shuttle stops, giving TAGS representatives an opportunity to thank riders for their patronage and to receive feedback. As riders exited the shuttles, the volunteers passed out information, gave away drinks, snacks, t-shirts and other freebies and answered questions.
“We really appreciate the ongoing community support from Transurban-Fluor,” said Friends of TAGS administrator Joan Clark, “It is critical for our continuing efforts to bring information and service to the Greater Springfield community.”
The Express Lanes team supported the event because of the similar mission between the two organizations.
“Both TAGS and Transurban-Fluor work to introduce new transportation options for northern Virginians and we appreciate the work that TAGS does to improve travel in the Springfield region,” said Kevin Ginnerty, director of project delivery at Transurban. “We are proud to support TAGS and their efforts to advocate for improvements on behalf of local residents and businesses.”
The Friends of TAGS program received positive feedback from the community. “Lots of people appreciated that we were out there. Look for the next Friends of TAGS event coming up soon,” commented Joan Clark.
For additional information about TAGS and ways to get around in the Springfield region, visit www.tagsva.org.
To stay informed about the latest regional transportation developments, please “like” their Facebook page
For additional questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org