Archive for February, 2013

Twin Cities LRT Helps Increase Minneapolis Metro Transit Ridership

In Minneapolis, Minnesota ridership on the Hiawatha LRT line hit an annual record of 10.5 million riders in 2012. That increase in ridership pushed Metro Transit over the 81 million rider mark for on the second time.  Ridership on the Hiawatha Line already has exceeded the pre-construction estimate for the year 2020, according to Metropolitan Council.

For only the second time in a generation, Metro Transit ridership has exceeded 81 million,” said agency General Manager Brian Lamb to local media. “This represents the third straight year of ridership growth.

RWA understands the importance of light rail transit in a city’s overall health. The Tide has seen record ridership in Norfolk and Norfolk has experienced the benefits from an affordable and efficient light rail system.

Are you interested in what light rail can do for your city? Contact RWA today and let’s talk about the success stories of light rail.

hiawatha lrtimage credit: tracktwentynine on flickr

Father of Light Rail to Speak to the Africa – America International Business Forum on Light Rail’s Influence on Economic Development

Randy Wright & Associates’ President will be speaking alongside other dignitaries in Atlanta, GA on the economic growth potentials in light rail.

NORFOLK VA, FEBRUARY 22, 2013: RWA President, W. Randy Wright, will be attending The Africa – America International Business Forum at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, GA on March 14-16, 2013. During the 3-day event Mr. Wright will present on the topic of Economic Growth Potentials in Light Rail to a group of international bankers, independent financiers, market analysts and policy advisors, policy and business leaders from the U.S. and Africa, trade finance professionals, and commercial service diplomats among other multinationals and subject-matter-experts.

African Leadership Magazine is holding the event with the theme: “Harnessing Africa – The New Economic Frontier, the Forum shall attract leading business and policy leaders from Africa and the Americas, and highlight the need for a fully diversified American investment strategy in African Economies. The event is also aimed at leveraging on the provisions of the AGOA Act which has been underexploited by both the African Investors and their United States counterpart.”

Other distinguished guests and presenters at the event include H.E. Prof. Ade Adefuye, Nigeria Ambassador to the USA; Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, President African Business Roundtable & Chairman, African Leadership Magazine Advisory Board; Dr. Ken Giami, Editor-in-chief/CEO, African Leadership Magazine; H.E. Hon. Joyce Banda, President, Republic of Malawi; The Rt. Hon. Xavier Luc Duval, Vice Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Republic of Mauritius; Sir Cletus Wotorson, President of the Senate, Republic of Liberia; DeLois Babiker, CEO, Intellectual Concepts, Atlanta; Chris Clark, President/CEO, Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Ashish Thakkar, CEO, Mara Group, Uganda; Rt. Hon Xavier Luc-Duval, Vice Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Mauritius; Bisi Onasanya, Group Managing Director, First Bank Plc Nigeria; Dr. Joyce Aryee, Fmr CEO Ghana Chamber of Mines; Arc.Musa Sada, Minister of Mines & steel Development, Nigeria; Gov. Abdul Aziz Yari, Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Nigeria; Dr. Toks Onabanjo, CEO Pan African Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Quenton Dokken, President Golf of Mexico Foundation, Corpus Christi, Texas; Mr. Kojo Atta-Krah, CEO, PBC Gha Ltd; Tony Imokhuede, Chairman, Pan African Chamber of Commerce.

“I am extremely honored to be selected to participate in the Africa – America International Business Forum next month in Atlanta,” said Mr. Wright. “To be on the same dais with internationally known Heads of State is extraordinary for RWA. This is a unique opportunity to step on the International stage as a recognized authority on Rail Economic Development.”

More information on The Africa – America International Business Forum can be found online at

Randy Wright & Associates is a development, transportation, and government relations consulting firm focused on public/private finance and land planning. The firm provides a unique range of services to builders, developers, and municipalities by joining together the experience of finance options and government contacts. The consultants at RWA have experience in residential, commercial and urban development projects in Virginia and across the United States. For more information on Randy Wright & Associates, visit

Media and interview requests for W. Randy Wright and Randy Wright & Associates should be directed to JASE Group LLC at for scheduling.


The Father of Light Rail to Appear on WTJZ AM1270

Hampton Roads’ own Father of Light Rail will appear on WTJZ on Friday, 2/22 at 2:00 PM.Tune your radio to AM1270 to hear RWA President W. Randy Wright talk about such topics as transit-oriented development around light rail, urban development, and his upcoming speech to the African-American International Business Forum in Atlanta, GA.


York County Officials Unsure Retrofitting Yorktown Power Station Is An Option

The State Corporation Commission has asked Dominion Power to look into retrofitting the Yorktown Power Station for natural gas rather than shutting the station down completely. York County officials fear that retrofitting the station may not be an option. According York County officals, there is not a large enough supply of natural gas to power the plant.

We do not have a large enough supply, a large enough pipe, to support [a natural gas] unit here in Yorktown. The distance a pipe would have to travel to supply natural gas to the station would be cost prohibitive.  – Jim Noel, Director of York County’s Office of Economic Development
York County and Dominion officials have sat down for one meeting so far and a second will be scheduled for later in February. Noel said he is concerned about waiting until Jan. 1, 2015 for a complete shutdown and the station to be left with no alternatives. The Yorktown Station has employed around 100 people at any point and time over the years.

We want to try to get in front of this as much as we possibly can, you have a unique confluence of attributes, access to deep water, rail, heavy industrial zoning, access to the grid through transmission lines, and obviously, plenty of electric power. So how could that site be repurposed in a way that would bring jobs and investment to the county? – Jim Noel

RWA specializes in government relations knowing that sometimes it takes the right person to bridge the gap between business and government. Contact RWA today and learn how we can help your project. 

Yorktown Powerstationimage credit: Dominion Power

Congratulations To Suffolk Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes On 40 Under 40 Rising Stars Award

Recently  Suffolk announced that its Director of Economic Development, Kevin Hughes, is being honored for bringing economic success to the city of Suffolk during his tenure. Suffolk is the largest city in Virginia, by land area, and during Hughes’ time as Director of Economic Development, Suffolk has been on the prosperous end of economic growth.

In the last 10 years Suffolk has seen it’s population increase 32% while seeing many businesses bring their operations to Suffolk, including the 330,000 square foot distribution center that was added to the Port of Virginia. The Navy’s Cyber Forces command will move to Suffolk in August 2013 and will create 1500 jobs, helping to ease the blow of jobs lost when Joint Forces Command was shut down in 2011.

Development Counselors International recently selected Hughes to receive their 40 under 40 Rising Stars in Economic Development award. Hughes attributes Suffolk’s success in development by presenting projects to the planning commission that are already set up for success so that deals aren’t caught up in feasibility studies and red tape.

RWA understands the importance of presenting feasible plans when working in urban land development. Contact RWA today to learn how to make your next urban land development project a success. 

Port of Virginia Suffolkimage credit: VaDOT on flickr

Norfolk Sister City Association And Norfolk England Committee Present: Norfolk England Valentine Dinner – Will You Be There?

This Valentine’s Day RWA President Randy Wright will be attending the Norfolk Sister City Association and Norfolk England Committee’s Norfolk England Committee Valentine Dinner. The event will be at the Sewell’s Point Golf Club and the guests of honor are Captain and Mrs. Gary Doyle (UK NLR SACT). It will be a fantastic time and seats are still available. Check out the information below:

Norfolk Sister City Association and Norfolk England Committee
cordially invite you to join us
Thursday, February 14, 2013
6:30-9:30 PM
Sewell’s Point Golf Club
660 Ruthven Road, Norfolk, VA 23511
Norfolk England Committee Valentine Dinner
Guests of Honor:
Captain and Mrs. Gary Doyle (UK NLR SACT)
The evening shall include:
Hors d’oeurves, one complimentary bar drink,
Buffet including entrees: beef carving station, salmon and chicken
Assortment of salads, vegetables, rolls and dessert
Soft drinks, Tea and Coffee and Cash Bar
Music, dancing and special Valentine gift for the ladies
Cost: $65 per person
or by mailing check made payable to:
NSCA, PO Box 3074, Norfolk 23514
Questions? Please call 627-0530

Featured Photo: RWA President W. Randy Wright & HRPTA President Will Christopher

RWA President W. Randy Wright & HRPTA President Will Christopher

RWA President W. Randy Wright & HRPTA President Will Christopher

Dearborn Michigan Looking For Input On Transit Oriented Development Plan

According to an article from the Press & Guide, developing a new train station has the city planner for Dearborn Michigan taking suggestions on what should be the vision of the new train station. Elizabeth Hendley, city planner for Dearborn, is looking for input on development of the space around the new train station being built.

The concept, called “Transit Oriented Development”, allows for anyone to suggest ideas for potential land development ideas based on two plans that have been proposed. The work is funded by a MiPlace Partnership grant from the state with the help of Michigan State University, the Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The goal of transit-oriented development is to create a mixture of housing, office, retail and other commercial amenities in a walkable neighborhood — all within half a mile of quality public transportation, the report says.

RWA worked closely with the City of Norfolk to make sure the implementation of The Tide Light Rail system was done with the best interests of the City of Norfolk. Urban land development and transportation development go hand in hand and are an integral part to a city’s long term success.

Would you like to know more about transportation consulting or urban land development consulting? Contact RWA to and let us help you plan your next development project.

Dearborn Aerial Viewimage credit: contemplative imaging on flickr

Visit RWA

2200 Colonial Avenue
Suite 25
Norfolk, VA 23517
P: (757) 466-1476
F: (757) 466-1498

directions to Randy Wright & Associates

Latest from RWA