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Toll Road Rates To Triple in Next Few Years?

MWAA officials project rising costs in order to pay for Phase 2.

The Metropolitan Airports Authority's new projections show that one-way rates on the Dulles Toll Road could triple to $6.75 by 2018 to bring in the necessary funds to pay for Phase 2 of the Metro's Silver Line.

The projections were released Wednesday at a MWAA board meeting. MWAA operates Dulles and Reagan airports as well as the toll road and is overseeing construction of Metro’s Silver Line expansion.

The projections are in line with those made several years ago. There is already a 25-cent rise - the third in three years - scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013.

The current rate of $2.25 might need to double next year, though officials say they could use $150 million in pledged funding from Virginia to stagger those increases over three years.

The price tage for Phase 2 - which will run from Wiehle Avenue to Dulles and into Loudoun County - is expected to be around $2.8 billion.

For more, read this article on WTOP.com. To see MWAA's entire report, click here.

Mac Cannon February 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Folks, I have held off commenting on this issue and the recent prodding of the RCA (and rightly so) concerning the real potential for increasing tolls on the toll road. In fact, it was one of the issues that I was most outspoken about when running for House of Delegates in Reston/Herndon/Oakton/Vienna just a few months ago. This should be no surprise to anyone that these increases are forecast. If you are interested, please take a look at my article in the Fairfax Times back in October 2011 that speaks to the politics that is played by incumbents and the phony numbers that are quoted and/or taken out of context. As I stated in that article, neither of our state elected representatives has done more than send a letter to the Governor for additional funding - where are they now on this issue? Why are they silent? - Mac Cannon (http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20111014/OPINION/710149749/1076/news&source=RSS&template=fairfaxTimes)
Skip Endale February 16, 2012 at 05:23 AM
these estimates are totally off considering the real possibility that oil will rise to $18 to 20 a gallon at which point you will see only 1% of all people travelling down those lonely lanes. with the middle east in upheaval and the united states military scaling down there are changes coming down the pike that most cyclists can only dream off
stephen fehr February 16, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The Post has an annoying habit, now picked up by the Patch, of calling tolls "rates." They are not rates, they are tolls. I have lived in Reston for 25 years. I have never heard anyone call the Dulles Toll Road tolls "rates." They are tolls.
Karen Goff February 16, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Good point.
Bob Bruhns February 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
You know, we have been told that enormous attention has been paid to reducing the costs of Dulles Rail Phase II - and yet, obvious massive overcosts remain, and it is strange that no comment whatsoever has been made by our so-called 'leaders' about them. The 'leaders' just keep repeating the same tired lines that they were handing us six months ago, and obviously they have done NOTHING. Excessive costs: http://herndon.patch.com/blog_posts/massively-excessive-costs-in-dulles-rail-phase-ii Questionable toll road revenue numbers: http://reston.patch.com/articles/rca-forecast-overestimates-toll-revenue Evidence of very bad financing: http://ww2.fairfaxtimes.com/cms/story.php?id=770 I have an idea. How about we pay what things are actually WORTH, how about we plan things so that they will actually WORK, and how about we PAY AS WE GO, instead of paying billions of dollars of interest payments? What a concept.
John Lovaas February 16, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Nowhere else in the Metro area or the Commonwealth of Va do residents face this kind exhorbitant taxing of the general poPulation--not even close. Our elected officials beginning with our ineffective Supervisor Hudgins, Chairman Bulova, and up thru our State Delegate and Senator have assured us all along that these excessive toll estimates were just the work of their opponents, bus lovers, and the like! Not to worry. And even now, why haven't we heard any or, indeed it should be, all of them standing for fair treatment of their constituents and proposing actions to share the burden more equitably. Indeed concern for greater economic equity seems to have disappeared from the agendas of Democrats whom historically could be counted upon as leaders for fair, progressive taxation, for unions and workers rights, and for affordable housing. There are too many recent examples of these Reston elected officials on just the opposite side--Metro tolls is but the latest.
Harry Locock February 16, 2012 at 05:28 PM
On Mr Lovaas's Reston Impact show as recently as last October Senator Janet Howell intoned: "My opponent has been claiming there are going to be $17 tolls, but of course that's nonsense. Nobody, nobody would tolerate $17 tolls, especially not me." Looks like there's some work to be done, Senator!
Ken Fredgren February 16, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Where is our recourse? I feel as helpless about this threat as a citizen of any plutocracy must feel about the economic threats he/she faces.
RKO February 16, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I watched rail-to-Dulles grow from it's fledging idea to what it is now. I didn't participate because I was somewhat skeptical of all the promises being made, such as huge savings, more jobs, rapid growth, and the availability o ftons of funding. Back in the day, which I suppose was 10-12 years ago there were some very loud voices of opposition. I listened and took both sides seriously, which was why I was skeptical. Now that Rail to Dulles is in full swing, I can safely say the following: Those that were opposed to it have been 100% correct. This is a complete boondoggle. Jobs and people aren't moving here because there's a choo-choo train coming to Reston ... in fact, it seems no one cares. As pointed out by another poster on here time and again, buildings aren't filling up and the historical source of growth (the Federal Govt.) is now in mandatory need to have its budget slashed. This whole project was just another example of special interests in the real estate and development industries being catered to at the complete expense of county residents. "By the special interests and for the special interests" should be the proud battle cry of the elected officials that have rampantly supported this fiasco. My advice to all concerned is to track down the politicians that rampantly supported this project and kick them out of office. Incompetence is incompetence, and it doesn't deserve reward.
Terry Maynard February 16, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Just noticed in the MWAA presentation that it projects a 25% decline in "transactions" in the next six years during which tolls triple. (See p. 6, from 99.9MM to 75.1MM transactions per year.) With a 2010 141K eastbound and 148K westbound average annual workday traffic between Reston Pkwy & Wiehle. . . ...just how are those 38K workday vehicles going to get where they need to go???? Think Rt. 7, Baron Cameron/Elden, Sunset Hills, Sunrise Valley Dr., (recently constrained) Lawyers/West Ox Rd., and maybe even Rt. 50. It will not be pretty.
Uncle Smartypants February 16, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Maybe those 38K people will take the subway.
Terry Maynard February 16, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Could be, Uncle, but first they will have to help build it. And, heck, that could save us a buck or two on the financing. If Phase 2 stays on schedule, it will be completed in December 2016. More seriously, the Metrorail is forecast to handle about 10K-15K new public transit persons per day. The balance of Metro riders are moving from bus to rail, so they accounted for very little DTR traffic anyway. Also, in theory, there should be some population and employment gains here in the Dulles Corridor over the next 6 years, at least that is forecast. Those people will be on our roads, whether DTR or otherwise, and I didn't try to figure out how that was going to work out. I will later though.
Bob Bruhns March 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
3:54 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012 "Maybe those 38K people will take the subway." Subway? What subway? Except for about a half-mile of tunnel in Tysons Corner, the other 22.5 miles of Dulles Rail is all above ground. Those of us who live here, know that.
Uncle Smartypants March 19, 2012 at 06:33 PM
My apologies, Bob, I should have wrote "metro". Ironically enough, I've lived in Fairfax County or Arlington since before the metro opened, and all but a few of those years within walking distance of an above-ground station. I never meant to imply by my flagrant misuse of the word subway that the Silver Line was anything but an above-ground rail, except for that half mile in Tyson's Corner that you kindly mentioned. Thank you for bringing this to my attention - mea culpa.

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