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Reston2020: Tolls Biggest Issue for Rail

Toll increases to pay for Phase 2 will make road "the highway of the one percent."

Advocacy Group Reston 2020 says that rising tolls - and not project-labor agreements - are the most important issue for the Silver Line.

In a new white paper (attached to this story in a PDF) titled Rail to Dulles: The Highway of the One Percent, Reston 2020 says tolls will rise more than 800 percent  in the years ahead.

The group, part of the Reston Citizens Association,

Reston 2020 says the huge toll increases will cost regular Fairfax County toll road users almost half of any real income gains over the next four decades as tolls approach $20 one-way and take $17 billion out of the local economy.

The Silver Line's $3 billion Phase 2, which is slated to run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County, is caught up in disputes about the project-labor dispute and who will pay for the rest of the project.

Loudoun County has until July 4 to decide if it will proceed. Fairfax County has already voiced its commitment. While $900 million was paid in Phase 1, scheduled to be completed late last year, there is no federal money for Phase 2.

Reston 2020 forecasts indicate that . By mid-century, high tolls will lead some 80,000-120,000 potential drivers to desert the toll road, turning it into a “Highway of the One Percent,” the group says.

Reston 2020 proposes that in addition to toll road users, station area landowners and the local funding jurisdictions—Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties—share equally in the cost of the line.  

“The Silver Line is an investment in the future of Reston and the Dulles Corridor,” said RCA President Colin Mills. “In order for it to succeed, everyone needs to step up to the plate and do their part."

Bob Bruhns May 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Our leaders - Democrat and Republican alike - don't care at all about what happens to us. Governor McDonnell is simply keeping his options open, hoping to be the VP candidate in the upcoming 2012 election - otherwise he would already have been attacking this rail ripoff with all of his power. But nobody is quite sure yet where to position themselves on this rail project, for maximum advantage in that election. Hence, the fence-sitting. But make no mistake; this is a swing region in a swing state. One way or the other, this rail line will be critical to that election, and we'll be seeing that in the months ahead.
John May 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM
You folks are missing the point . . . metro into loudoun relocates jobs into loudoun that you now have to travel for into Fairfax, DC;, etc., New, efficient access shifts development closer to you!!!
RKO May 13, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I think a problem Northern Virginians need to face is the fact that if we let ourselves be talked into something by a bunch of special interests, don't expect the state to help pay for our mistakes. There were a lot of voices opposing rail 10 years ago. Review or recall what those voices said and then just look at the boondoggle the project is now. Everything, and I do mean everything the critics said would happen is happening. The yet unfulfilled prediction of rail opponents from 10 years ago is that rail will never be able to pay for itself because the ridership won't be adequate enough to justify the cost. I suspect this final prediction will be true. The entire thing was nothing but a cash-cow handout to a bunch of wealthy developers and real estate investors. All done by Democrats, I might add. Keep that in mind.
George M May 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM
One issue that is never addressed is the "free road" to Dulles. The Metro will provide a direct connection to the airport, so there is no reason that any part of the access road should be free. The suggestion that equivalent tolls be added to the access road has been completely ignored. Why should anyone be allowed to drive free alongside this shiny new rail system?
Burt Rosenberg June 04, 2012 at 08:50 AM
George M, with baggage, riding Metro is not a real option. "Read my lips, NO NEW TOLLS!"

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