Since 2010, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce has recognized businesses in the area that play an integral role in our community. While the categories have changed over the years, the importance has remained the same: it’s essential to recognize the businesses and nonprofits in our community that are working hard to make an impact in the Prince William County and surrounding areas. We connected with a handful of past winners to see how their businesses or nonprofits have grown over the years since winning in their selected categories. Some stories can be found on our social media and are linked at the bottom of this article.

This featured past winner is the 2013 Innovative Practice and Partnership winner, Vision Partner- Transurban- known for ‘Keeping You Moving’ on 465 Express Lanes.

Below article provided by Transurban. For more information about Transurban, visit their website at: Transurban: Keeping you moving.

In November, Transurban marked our 10-year anniversary of the 495 Express Lanes partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Transportation. Over those 10 years, we have helped nearly 10 million customers save more than 33 million hours, giving people more of their time back to spend with their families, friends, and all this region has to offer.

The Express Lanes have also been an important contributor to Northern Virginia’s vibrant economic environment, supporting $8 billion in economic impact, more than 53,000 jobs, and investing nearly $1 billion in small, women, and minority-owned business contracts through the development and construction of the Lanes.

In addition, the Lanes work in tandem to help local and small businesses move around the region to get to their jobs and customers in time — bypassing major traffic congestion points within the areas they serve to ensure quality service. The Express Lanes continue to offer faster, more reliable travel options, which has helped to attract major global employers who have relocated or expanded their corporate headquarters here in Northern Virginia.

Our Express Lanes network has expanded from 14 miles along the 495 Express Lanes to a 53-mile seamlessly integrated, high-tech highway corridor that has experienced 105% growth in both bus trips and HOV trips. Our commitment to unlocking some of the most congested areas in our region continues. In late 2023, our Fredericksburg Extension project (Fred Ex) will open to travelers. adding 10 new miles of Express Lanes that will provide much needed relief in what is one of the “worst traffic hot spots” in the country and in the Commonwealth.

While we continue to develop critical transportation projects, , we’re more than our roads. That’s why we’ve partnered with local non-profits to drive healthier, safer, and cleaner communities, contributing more than $2.3 million to more than 350 separate local non-profit organizations.

  • If you had any advice for up-and-coming businesses, what would it be?

Put your people and your customers first. When we opened the 495 Express Lanes 10-years ago, it was in the shadow of the Great Recession and at the tail end of that 10-years, and today, we’re dealing with the impacts of the global pandemic. Throughout it all, the Express Lanes never failed to meet the demand and have kept our communication lines open to our customers, providing them with a faster, safer, more reliable trip. We prioritized our customers and our employees —a highlight of our success over the decade.

Look to future proof your business. Throughout the economic downturn and the pandemic, we never stopped thinking about the future. For us at Transurban, that means continuing to work alongside our government partners to drive the technology, policy and mobility solutions that are connecting and strengthening communities today, ten years from now, and for decades to come. We all know that transportation needs are changing fast, and we’re looking decades ahead — testing the mobility trends of tomorrow like Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and smart infrastructure. Our roads are already among the most technologically advanced in the US, with road-side equipment that takes in more 2,000 data points per mile and recent investments connects the technology and those data points with CAVS to assist the vehicle in its decision making. One of the challenges for CAVs is the ability of the vehicle to “see” beyond its own location. The technology we are developing can tell the vehicle what is coming up miles ahead, let it know about congestion, a pothole, ice, or an accident. With this information the CAV can make appropriate decision to allow it to continue with a faster, safer, more reliable trip.

Our reversible 95 Express Lanes provides a unique test bed for these types of trials, during the reversal period when traffic isn’t on the road. In the Spring, for the first time, we will pilot the use of a fully autonomous bus.

  • What is your vision for the future of your company?

To continue to strengthen communities through transportation. Our Express Lanes partnership with Virginia is delivering transportation solutions that invest back in communities, drive economic opportunity, and fund a more sustainable, connected region.

Through our agreements with the Commonwealth, Transurban is investing $15 million a year into Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s Commuter Choice program to improve transit in the 95/395 corridor, the largest such private sector investment in public transit in the nation. This investment will help divert over 2.4 million trips to transit every year which will take over 20.5 million passenger miles off our roads and reduce Northern Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,000 metric tons annually. Our friends at OmniRide have used grants from the Commuter Choice program to create new and enhanced bus service from Prince William County to points north including the Pentagon, Arlington County, and D.C. As I mentioned in the first question, we’ve seen a 105% increase in bus trips and HOV trips on our Express Lanes. These improvements give people the ability to reach new job opportunities and improve their quality of life.

We take great pride in the impact our Express Lanes make on the day-to-day lives of the folks who live and travel in this region. Nearly 80% of our customers spend less than $20 a month. What that stat tells us, is that our customers use the Express Lanes when time matters most to them. I hear this story time and time again. Whether it is stories about folks using the Lanes to get home in time to see their kids ballgames or recitals, or it’s the stories about folks using the Lanes so that they can spend more time with their families in the morning and still make it to work on time for that big meeting, almost everyone in the region has a story about when the Lanes gave them the opportunity to make it on time.

It’s been a challenging and successful first 10-years and we’re excited to continue to serve this region and look forward to decades more of partnering with the Commonwealth to strengthen communities.  

Above article provided by Transurban. For more information about Transurban, visit their website at: Transurban: Keeping you moving.

Additional Previous Award Winner Highlights:

2019 Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism Winner, Murlarkey Distilled Spirits

2020 Agnes L. Colgan: Health & Human Services Award Winner The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation

2020 Emerging Business Award Winner Sweeney Barn