FREDERICKSBURG, VA — The Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has named Ian Ollis, a former member of the South African parliament, as its new administrator. Ollis will also serve as the George Washington Regional Commission’s director of transportation.
Ollis will lead FAMPO’s urban transportation planning efforts and will work to improve rural transportation planning for GWRC. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ollis received a master’s degree in city planning, with a specialization in transportation. He previously worked on transportation planning for Transit Matters in Boston.
For almost a year, FAMPO has been without an administrator. Paul Agnello, the former administrator, is now with Spotsylvania County’s transportation office.
“Selecting the right person to lead our regional transportation efforts for FAMPO was arguably the most important decision we needed to make this year and the selection of Ian was unanimous,” FAMPO Chair and Stafford County Supervisor Cindy Shelton said in a statement.
“His political and transportation planning experience as well as his availability at this time is an amazing gift to the residents of our region,” Shelton said. “Transportation remains the number one issue in our region as Stafford takes its first steps to use citizen approved bonds to fund local improvements and other localities follow suit.”
Ollis, a native of South Africa, resigned his seat in South Africa’s parliament in August 2018 to complete a second master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He started in his new position with FAMPO on Nov. 1.
In an email to Patch, Ollis said his priority will be working on a unified planning process for transportation projects covering the counties of Stafford and Spotsylvania as well as the city of Fredericksburg.
“Congestion and transportation infrastructure and systems are interrelated,” Ollis said. “We also supply rural transportation planning services to the counties of Caroline and King George.”
Member jurisdictions in the Fredericksburg area all contribute funds to the respective regional bodies. Although revenue streams are kept separate, the George Washington Regional Commission acts as the fiscal agent for FAMPO.
Additionally, GWRC formally hires staff for FAMPO. Both regional transportation bodies also receive other funding sources. For FAMPO, that includes state and federal transportation money. GWRC’s other funding sources include various grants.
“Mr. Ollis is a welcome addition in assisting GWRC and FAMPO on a path forward for regional transportation planning,” George Washington Regional Commission Chair and King George County Supervisor Cathy Binder said in a statement. “The diverse and international background Ian brings to the table will help all five GWRC localities chart a positive course for our unique region.”
Ollis said he hopes the regional bodies can marshal all the resources needed to improve the transportation system for all residents of the area.
“There are current and planned investments coming in highways such as the I-95 and both the VRE and Amtrak service which are exciting indications of improvements to come,” he said. “I want to work with the state institutions involved in these improvements as well