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Users Talk Tolls at Reston MWAA Meeting

Airports Authority collecting public opinion, but will it be enough to control rising Dulles Toll Road rates?

Citizens came to in Reston Wednesday night to talk about tolls and there were plenty of people there from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) there to listen.

Wednesday night's event was the second of three public meetings organized by the group that oversees the Dulles Toll Road and the construction of the Metrorail's Silver Line.

But will public opinion be enough to slow the rise in toll road rates?  

Under the toll rate proposal, the combined main plaza and ramp tolls, currently $2.25 for 2-axle vehicles, would increase to $2.75 in 2013, $3.50 in 2014 and $4.50 in 2015 in order to help fund the construction of the Silver Line Phase 2.

Advocacy group Reston2020 predicts tolls for area motorists will be $6.75. However, MWAA CEO Jack Potter says not so fast—through targeted government lobbying and finding alternate funding solutions, MWAA may be able to put the brakes on rising tolls and still get Phase 2 from Wiehle Avenue to Loudoun County built.

"We are going to focus on solutions," Potter told a citizen who told him he found rising toll rates "unacceptable."

"That is the No. 1 thing we can do. We are going to focus on how we can get better financing rates. We are going to lobby the federal government to get more TIFIA [Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act] Funds," Potter said.

Terry Maynard of Reston2020 has done extensive research on the topic of rising tolls. He wants MWAA to work to get the Toll Road users' share down to 25 percent of costs - about half of the current forecast.

"If they can't get there, then they shouldn't build Phase 2," he said.

Reston's Robert Dobkin filled out a comment form at the meeting. (MWAA is also collecting comments on its website.) Dobkin says he takes alternate routes whenever he can to avoid paying the toll. He predicts he—as well as thousands of other drivers—will do the same if rates continue to rise.

"I am just offended that the funding of the Silver Line has been put on the backs of the commuters," he said. "They should think about the users - and get costs down. The effort should be led by Virginia's members of Congress and the Senate. It's not too late."

There will be a final open house-style meeting on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Spring Hill Elementary School, 8201 Lewinsville Road, McLean.

Comments and questions will be put into a comment report that will be published at www.mwaa.com/tollroad in late October. After that, a recommendation will be made to the MWAA Board of Directors for action later this year.

Navid Roshan September 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
And will you assure that non road drivers will never have to pay for all the road maintenance new construction also? Or are you guys all just full of it? How can you get funds for capital improvements out of a system that ISNT BUILT YET. Come on people, use your brains or learn how contracting and financing works. I am in agreement in general with sentiment, the tolls are too high, but it isnt because this project is not needed it is because our state has robbed Northern virginia of every last cent it has and refused to give us back any of it for projects we actually want. The rail system for Silver line is anticipated to be as successful in fare revenue as the orange line (which is in a huge surplus and buoys the other lines except red in operation). Silver line will have not only one directional commuter flow but BI directional flow from just as many young post graduates working in the tech hubs of herndon, reston and tysons. The project once built will be able to pay for itself and then some in both increased tax revenue (from the new high rises, corporations) and from fares. If you have beef, talk to Gov Bobby he's holding 11 billion dollars from NOVA in his hands, only 2 billion of which he sent back to NOVA, and is just holding onto 500 million in surplus for no reason when that money could be going to keep toll rates stable for the next 10 years (all from 1 years surplus)
MIke September 13, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Too many people wanted a shiny new train to nowhere, and didn't care how it would be paid for. I avoid the toll road at all costs, and I am sure that more people will begin to as well, causing MORE congestion on other roads. The silverline will never be able to sustain itself financially, heck, metro can not even sustain itself on its ridership. Lets keep spending money we don't have.. that sounds great.
Navid Roshan September 13, 2012 at 09:06 PM
WMATA has more riders than Chicago and is also less subsidized than Chicago's system. You might want to actually read up on the subject before pontificating so magnificently. Roads are far more subsidized in EVERY way than rail in Virginia and all across the US. 4 billion dollars go towards VDOT every year, 65 million go to DRPT in virginia.
Scott September 13, 2012 at 09:14 PM
So Navid, I guess you are saying that once the silver line is built, the tolls will go down? Your entire premise is misguided. re: the surplus. Smart governors hold a surplus in a "rainy day fund" b/c states have to balance their budgets every year. A rainy day fund allows budgets to not get crippled when the economy dips.
Navid Roshan September 13, 2012 at 10:42 PM
No I am saying that you cant charge a fare to build something that is the source of said fare. You cant charge people in advance of a 4 year long capital project. If this is a complicated idea for you, then how bout I sell you a car. You pay me for the entirety of its costs over the course of 4 years, after it is paid off I'll let you drive it. This is an apt analogy btw because the more you can pay upfront the less the loan has to be to cover the cost of said car. For instance, if Virginia put up even 150 million more in capital towards this project out of that 500 million then we could remove approximately 50 cents from the tolls raises. PS the rainy day fund is all good and well, except the state is ROBBING nova in order to give itself a rainy day fund, all the while they are demanding we pay for more and more things that traditionally are the role of the state. For instance roads and school construction and transit. All the while our 11 billion dollars goes to pay for 400 million dollar roads to Suffolk (dont worry if you have never heard about that area because its in the middle of nowhere). Get it? Its not their funds to hold as a surplus, they take 11 billion and give us back 2 billion. That 500 million was NOVAs to start off with, it should be divided back out to PWC, Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington by percentage provided out of each jurisdiction. Thanks Champ
Navid Roshan September 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Your statements are pure ignorance at its best. What you call a train to nowhere in reality connects Arlington to Tysons to Reston to Dulles to Ashburn. Arlington is the largest single employment city in Virginia, Tysons is the 2nd (it is also the 13th largest city by commercial output in the United States btw), Reston and Herndon is the tech corridor of Virginia and has been referred to as the IT silicon Valley, Ashburn is a town that has AOL and Raytheon as headquarters as well as a very affluent and highly populated residential sector. Now in what metric are you measuring "nowhere?" By population this corridor has more than DC. By GDP this area is the most important single stretch in Virginia. By traffic this region is one of the most congested on the east coast. By retail measure it is the most shopped corridor this side of Manhattan. On the subject of sustainability. Orange line actually operates a near $100 million surplus. The problem with WMATA is bus service which has always been the idea of "availability' instead of sustainability. On top of that is heavy rail to poorly planned regions like the Blue Line which didnt incorporate land use policy to sustain the systems and leverage its abilities. The silver line is anticipated to EXCEED the orange line in usage by 2020 in ridership and already includes upgrades in its cost that other lines are currently under going. There, read that and be educated for once in your life.
Bob Bruhns September 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I can't completely blame MWAA, when Tim Kaine set this up against the advice of the FTA, and Gerry Connolly and Sharon Bulova and others in Fairfax County, and Scott York and Ken Reid and others in Loudoun County, approved it without really considering the actual costs. The voters who elected our Attorney General, who had enough guts to call this rail line a ripoff, and who had enough guts to call for Phase II to be rejected, should have gotten out and done something. But nobody cared. It was in the news. Yeah, the news media carefully avoided mentioning certain things, but it was in the news. And everybody ignored it, staring like cows in a field. Maybe now the voters will wake up and demand that Phase II be stopped, or AT LEAST insist that its price should be brought WAY down, because it is about two times what it should be - BEFORE finance charges - at 6%! Please people, get familiar with this mess NOW, not after years of overcrowded local roads full of Toll Road Refugees fleeing the usurious tolls. Don't know what 'usurious' means? It means abusively excessive!!! People, our government 'leaders' wanted this thing set up the crazy way it is, they allowed the prices to skyrocket to two times what they should be, and now they are happy to let the toll road fail because of this nonsense, and they are happy to let our side roads clog like you've never seen them clog. Wasn't this rail line supposed to REDUCE congestion? But that was just another lie. WAKE UP!!!
Rob Whitfield September 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Arlington is a County, not a city. Its commercial development extends over two main corridors - Rosslyn-Ballston and the Pentagon-Crystal City. The combined employment of the Tysons-Dulles Corridor exceeds that of Arlington County, which was approximately 223,300 in 2010, up from 201,200 in 2000. http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CPHD/planning/data_maps/CPHDPlanningDataandMapsProfile.aspx Certainly, the development of Arlington County has been a major success story over the last 30+ years since Metrorail arrived there. Arlington has a far higher overall population and employment density supportive of Metrorail. Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and DC residents are paying $0.00 towards Dulles Rail, except for their prorata share of the $900 million in Phase 1 federal funding.Tysons residents like Navid Roshan are not paying anything for Dulles Rail. Is that equitable?
Navid Roshan September 15, 2012 at 12:44 AM
That is ABSOLUTELY FALSE Rob and you know it. You are spreading lies for what? This isnt about Tysons or Arlington vs Reston. I know you are upset about the toll rises, but then again ITS A TOLL ROAD, and no one said you HAD to live along it. Compared to prices for toll roads in NJ, Penns, and what the HOT lanes will be you guys are STILL being assisted with its cost. As far as Tysons not paying for Dulles rail. I pay taxes for this county just as much as you and last time I checked Fairfax County IS in large part contributing to this construction. Secondly, to complain about Tysons not paying its share, if it wasnt for tysons you would NEVER have rail. Land use policy and ridership to Tysons was the reason it met the federal requirements for shovel ready, that wouldnt have happened with out it being routed through Tysons. It wouldnt have been routed through Tysons if it wasnt for the private industry paying for a very large portion of that cost. On another note, I as a Tysons resident will be paying a 7 cent surcharge to improve a road I DONT WANT for you whiny brats in Reston so please stop scapegoating our RESPONSIBLE infrastructure costing. If you want the toll road to be less, stop opposing private businesses and developers who would trade density for paying for it. You can't have your cake and eat it too unless you want to go to Governor McDonnell and tell him to give you the money (good luck with that).
Bob Bruhns September 15, 2012 at 02:30 AM
"Compared to prices for toll roads in NJ, Penns, and what the HOT lanes will be you guys are STILL being assisted with its cost." This is why we need to officially establish that Dulles Rail Phase II costs nearly two times what it should have cost. Taking the same tack as above, project advocates in other places will point to the excessive price that we were foolish enough to pay, and they will say "See, this is the normal cost, so we should pay just as much." Unless people take a look for themselves - which seems to be completely beyond human ability these days - everybody will be tricked into paying two times what rail transit should cost.
Rob Whitfield September 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Navid, what is ABSOLUTELY FALSE? The fact that Tysons residents benefit from a rail project for which they have paid nothing, except for a prorata share of the relatively minor federal and state costs? The Fairfax County rail tax districts will account for $730 million, paid by commercial and industrial property owners, not overall County taxpayers. Former Congressman Tom Davis, now a MWAA Board member, admitted to me last year, when I complained that Phase 2 has never been shown to be economically or financially feasible, "Phase 1 was never shown to be feasible either." Approximately 50% of projected Silver Line rail ridership to the four Tysons stations will come from the east, mainly Arlington County and DC station origins. Since WMATA has repeatedly refused to make public updated ridership forecasts since work done circa 2002, based on a model whose assumptions are not public, those estimates are subject to revision. Tysons has been a primary economic asset for Fairfax County and Virginia over the last forty years. Its tax revenues, both business and real estate, have benefited the County and Commonwealth. Decisions on its infrastructure funding should be made based on careful analysis of who pays what and who benefits. If Tysons residents don't want to pay for improved Dulles Toll Road connections and Route 7 widening to access Tysons, then Tysons residents and businesses must pay most all of the road and transit improvement costs proposed there.
Navid Roshan September 15, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Have you even read Strawman IV Rob? Seriously before you start spouting off about what Tysons taxpayers will and wont be paying you should read it because you are ignorant on the subject. ALL residential owners within Tysons will be paying between 7 and 9 cents extra in taxes which will be set aside for elements of Table 7 (Tysons wide projects like the Route 7 widening as well as many others). The break down is Tysons payments will apply 10% to projects outside of Tysons and 90% to those inside. BTW this is FAR more being paid than Reston who simply pays its own county tax. Let me point out that we will be paying not only regular county RE tax but also that tax above (6% more than you). Tysons doesnt care about access to Reston, but western county folks DO need access to Tysons and Arlington via both Route 7, DTR, and yes the Silver Line. How dare you say that Tysons residents didnt pay their share btw of the rail. We are residents of this county, this county paid for a significant amount of Phase 1 and Phase 2, to discount that is ridiculous. We have to date paid the exact same amount as you. You can go cry about your toll road as much as you want, but your case has one major fault. You are complaining about a toll road which costs less than 95% of tolls roads in America. You need to take accountability for your own life and stop scapegoating your choices on others.
Navid Roshan September 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM
PS if you look at my original comments you would find that I was sympathetic to toll road users, but now I find you specifically to be a whiner who would rather blame people who specifically paid more to not have to use the toll road and have done NOTHING to increase your cost of living. Tysons Corner has NOTHING to do with this, you can blame us and say oh its all their fault but you have no substance to those claims. You are just weening off proponents of your cause who could be used as partners in something that I agree with (toll prices should not be escalated to pay for the silver line). But for you to stand on your prognosticators box and say that you KNOW whether silver line will be sustainable etc is ridiculous. From all the calculations I have done, the operation cost vs revenue from fares will be profitable on day 1 of Phase 2 opening even with the conservative ridership (using the blue line model btw not orange line) put out by the original Fed. funding analysis. Silver Line shows all signs of being able to attain the same if not more riders than orange line (whether Tom Davis believes so or not).
Bob Bruhns September 15, 2012 at 03:28 PM
"You are complaining about a toll road which costs less than 95% of tolls roads in America." Again, this is why we need to officially establish that Dulles Rail Phase II costs nearly two times what it should have cost, and that Phase I was also greatly overpriced. Project advocates in other places will point to the excessive price and the excessive tolls that we were foolish enough to pay, and they will say "See, they decided to make their costs this much worse - so we should too."
Rob Whitfield September 15, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Mr. Roshan, please provide the links and detail facts showing how much Tysons residents have paid in taxes for Dulles Rail. I have never said or suggested that Dulles Rail funding problems are a matter of " blame us and say oh its all their fault." Most of the blame should be shared by former Governors Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and their pals at MWAA. Further, I blame Governor Bob McDonnell plus Virginia legislators in Congress, Richmond and local Supervisors for their failure to seek alternatives to Dulles Toll Road tolls in the last two years. I have attended most Fairfax County Planning Commission Tysons Committee meetings in the last four+ years, including the one on Thursday night. As you seem to claim prescience on Strawman IV, please explain to the public the differences between the latest version, released on September 10, 2012, and the prior versions. If you disagree with any of its provisions, so state. Two months ago, some Rotonda condominium residents told a Tysons Committee meeting that they did not consider it fair that they would have to contribute to service district taxes. In a prior Strawman draft, somebody (a Supervisor?) inserted language seeking an exemption from the General Assembly for residents. To the best of my knowledge, Tysons residents do not contribute to the McLean Community Center tax. By contrast, Reston residential owners do contribute to the Reston Community Center through a $0.047 per $100 assessed value of property.
Rob Whitfield September 15, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Mr. Roshan, please provide all relevant facts with links to demonstrate that the Dulles Toll Road "costs less than 95% of tolls roads in America." The fundamental problem for Dulles Toll Road users is that they have paid over $1 billion in tolls since 1984 with the expectation that, once the capital and finance costs had been paid off, the tolls would cease. By contrast, WMATA is an ever growing financial sinkhole. Its Board and management have not demonstrated how to pay the projected $13.3 billion in capital replacement costs due by 2020 for the original 103 mile Metrorail system, yet alone how they will handle the Silver Line operations without seeking additional subsidies from taxpayers. Please provide an online link to your work showing: "From all the calculations I have done, the operation cost vs revenue from fares will be profitable on day 1 of Phase 2 opening even with the conservative ridership (using the blue line model btw not orange line) put out by the original Fed. funding analysis." Are you a Metrorail ridership and revenue consultant to WMATA? If not, please provide your credentials to make claims as to profitability of the Silver Line and Orange Line. Ten days ago, I was told that the Tysons Circulator study was supposed to have been completed in 2009. In June 2012, Tom Biesiadny told a Board of Supervisors Committee that the draft report would be available in July 2012. Yet when I asked him last week, he claimed it is not yet available.
Navid Roshan September 16, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Rob look at the price of the DTR. 16 miles for less than 3 dollars!? Are you kidding me? That is not the price of most toll roads in this country. Again, you are picking a fight with someone who is an ADVOCATE of your basic point, but scapegoating problems on Tysons Corner is the kind of junk that loses sympathetic residents. You are citing all sorts of irrelevant issues here. Talk about the toll road not WMATA, WMATA is not even PART of this discussion yet. What is your point? That WMATA should fund this expansion? They have said over and over expansion is not part of their goals right now for capital projects. They were tepid about the silver line at best. As far as operation revenue, look at the number of people who live within 1/4, 1/2, and 1 mile from the full silver line. The numbers used by the analysts used only the number of parking spaces and a conservative number for airport traffic. It completely disregards the extensive amount of Arlington residents who will use the system for commutes to both Reston and much more to Tysons. It also rejects the affects of the W &OD trail for commuters living beyond 1/2 mile (not included without parking space). The numbers were conservative upon conservative upon conservative, but then again no way of telling until its fully built out in 2018.
Navid Roshan September 16, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I dont care what the Rotonda folks said, they and I are going to be paying the 7-9 cent addition because it is what is needed to convert this office park mess into a real city. If they dont like that, they have approximately 40% more in condo value compared to this time in 2010 and a heck of a lot more than that since 2005, so they can move and let others who are willing to pay the tax to live in the growing city and not have to deal with the toll road. There have been significant changes to define the ratio between public/private funding of infrastructure in the strawman IV. Additionally in Strawman III they finally showed WHAT the breakout in table 7 should be (the 90-10 ruling) for elements inside and outside of Tysons. This was important in explaining why Route 28 was not a valid model (1 road improvement vs dozens of individual and unique projects needed for Tysons over the next 4 decades). Are you really bringing up a community center tax? Tysons residents have very little to do with McLean residents beyond the fact that Tysons used to be known as part of McLean via the post office (not by any legal requirement). If Tysons opens its own community center, I'd be fine with part of the 7-9 cent (double what you are talking about in the worst case btw) to go to it. For now we have much more important issues in Tysons than funding the construction of a building which will go empty 99% of the time.
Navid Roshan September 16, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Also if you dont want the silver line to be built then fine, I dont care, stop it then... my tax money is in that project just as much as you (general funds) aka the only darn thing that Restonians are actually providing to the project. Again, I had nothing to do with the transfer to MWAA, in fact I am completely against it to this day. PS I am also a toll road user, have you noticed that Tysons is just as much on the toll road as reston? Think about it logically though honestly. Those who would typically go the full length of the toll road will now have the option of taking a train in (likely faster because the toll road has become one of the more congested corridors in the area). Those who dont want to go the full length now either get less people on the toll road or can take a 4-5 mile alternate route. I just don't understand the big flippin deal. Restonians are acting like this was a surprise and like it will be the end of the economy for Reston. I'm sorry but if your towns entire economic model was based on the difference between 2.50 and 4.50 on a toll road then that to me is the bigger issue. Enjoy driving on Route 7 paid more by Tysons Corner residents that Restonians, please stop blaming us and I'll leave you guys alone.
Rob Whitfield September 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM
WMATA, and its lack of prudent financial planning and management, is a huge problem facing future Silver Line operations, and Virginia taxpayers. If politicians were concerned with future taxpayer burdens, audits of WMATA would occur in a manner similar to those at MWAA. What evidence supports your WMATA comment: "They have said over and over expansion is not part of their goals right now for capital projects. They were tepid about the silver line at best." If true, a Virginia Transit Authority should be created to operate the Silver Line under Virginia laws and regulations and staffed mostly by Virginia residents. The Silver Line project is being built to WMATA standards, including the requirement that stations include toilets and works of art, paid for mostly by Dulles Toll Road users. Both MWAA and WMATA are controlled by Inside the Beltway politicians, who care nothing that the Silver Line is being funded by Outside the Beltway taxpayers. Metrorail passengers should pay some Silver Line capital costs and most operating costs, with higher fares charged for riders from DC, Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and Maryland stations to the Silver Line stations. The main Silver Line issue is not about stopping construction. Its funding structure should be radically changed to provide a more equitable financial plan. Please provide all relevant facts with links to demonstrate that the Dulles Toll Road "costs less than 95% of tolls roads in America."
Tom Kellner September 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Mr. Roshan: First, in any project I have found it is the questions that are not asked that usually are the ones to come back and cause failure. Your comment that WMATA was tepid at best about expanding the system left me wondering why. Perhaps you could expand as to why WMATA was unenthusiastic about this project. Second, though not a profit generating activity, at the end of the day this is a retail operation that is going to depend on individual customers using the system to make it a success. The rail has very inflexible start and end points that require an individual to find transportation to the origination rail point and then after arrival at the final rail point, to their ultimate destination. Would you please explain in scenarios how this will work? As part of the scenarios you would include total time of the trip; number of transfers; mode of transit to and from the train stations; cost of any parking; cost of fares for both buses and trains; and what you believe would be the maximum time a typical rider would consider acceptable for his/her trip? Also would you please state what would a maximum fare that a customer would be willing to pay?
Navid Roshan September 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Firstly, I am not a WMATA employee or administrative official so my knowledge is based on my close following of their policies, planning documents, budget, and public comments. I have been EXTREMELY critical of WMATA policies about benefits, employment policies, lack of master planning, lack of reserves for upkeep. As far as the reasoning, I have no way to say for sure but this is my best estimate which comes from reviewing WMATA's budgets. Long line systems (in the blue line model) have been more difficult to maintain and clearly cost more in operations (though energy costs on heavy rail are far less than on bus for long haul trips). They have had a lot of criticism of their expansions laterally and the relative lack of infill stations along existing systems. That is why WMATA more fully supports the Potomac Yard station than silver line, because the revenue benefit compared to cost is more favorable for infill projects. That doesnt mean that the silver line isnt an enormous opportunity, it simply means it was not specifically WMATA's top priority. I still believe regardless of that fact it is Fairfax's top priority. As far as you myriad of questions that followed that; no not because I couldn't but because this isn't my full time job and because you would likely ask for more and more info instead of accepting that these are all conservative estimates of behavioral patterns. I'll say that people who think this rail is for DC to Dulles trips still dont grasp it
Navid Roshan September 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
In short, because it wasn't part of their master planning for capital projects map which focuses much more on completing the wheel nodes for interconnecting the systems that expanding it to lower density regions. WMATA is not a planning body, its a transit body. What they see today is poorly connected regions, suburban land use, and a jurisdiction which has been hostile at BEST (Virginia) towards transit solutions. Beyond that, read their annual statements, follow Sarles comments, etc and you will see that outward expansion is not as important to them as internal link connections, catching up to 30 years of upkeep disaster, and improving ridership at existing corridors. Back on the subject of the Silver Line and DTR (which you got off topic on by bring WMATA into this and Tysons) I DONT DISAGREE. I dunno how to say this to you. Virginia has a transit department, its budget was cut by 40% (to a measly 65 million) in 2012 by gov bobby, while VDOTs budget went up 6% to well over 4 billion. GOP is against transit to posture for national stage; so good luck with state help (the actual issue) As far as the toll road costs, I'm not your statistician, but if you think the DTR is expensive you are either delusional or have been pampered by subsidized road construction for too long. It takes all of 30 seconds to see a trend in wikipedia; don't just review cost, review cost per mile (a much more important metric) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_toll_roads_in_the_United_States
Rob Whitfield September 17, 2012 at 05:31 PM
A Toll Roads News article dated 12/29/11 by Peter Samuel includes a comparison table showing Dulles Toll Road toll rates compared to those on other toll roads. http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5678. MWAA's proposed tripling of DTR toll rates over the next six years would make it among the most costly in the United States. While the overall distance from Route 28 to Capital Beltway is 14 miles, drivers from Hunter Mill Road entrance to the Beltway pay the same tolls to drive just seven miles. Reston 2020 has published several excellent commentaries during the last year about the impact of projected tolls on the Dulles Corridor economy. The latest: C:\Users\SiteKiosk\Documents\RCA Reston 2020 Comment on Dulles Toll Road Toll Increases.pdf Mr. Roshan may correctly interpret WMATA's preference for expanding its empire inside the Capital Beltway. Let's make sure that Inside the Beltway taxpayers pay 100% of the projected $30+ billion for Metrorail capital expansion dreams. Who is supposed to pay for the $70 billion for the proposed BRT expansion plan? Mr. Roshan, you advocate "smart growth" options but don't mislead readers by claiming to provide facts when most postings are mere assertions. If you have followed WMATA policies and plans closely, you will recall that in November 2011, the Board was told that Capital Replacement costs for the existing 103 mile Metrorail system are estimated at $13.3 billion by 2020. Who pays what, when and how for those costs?
Rob Whitfield September 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM
As to the Potomac Yard Metrorail station, its cost has ballooned. "Initial estimates put the project cost around $497 million, but possible difficulties about building the station around a set of existing CSX freight tracks that lie between the Metro tracks and the Potomac Yard development may drive the price up further." Almost $500 million for a Metrorail station? At that price, they could have gold lame toilet paper. http://washingtonexaminer.com/price-tag-increases-for-study-of-potomac-yard-metro-station/article/2508131 From an earlier article: "The city is working on refined cost estimates, but initial estimates for the ground stations put the project cost at $497 million, with an estimated $74 million coming from developers and $194 million coming from a special taxing district around the area. The remaining $229 million could be covered by taxes gleaned from higher property values and other taxes spurred by the development, according to a city presentation on the plan." http://washingtonexaminer.com/alexandria-seeking-funds-to-study-potomac-yard-metro-stop/article/563821#.UFOdDkRL_bk http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/print-edition/2012/04/27/potomac-yard-metro-site-up-in-the-air.html?page=all The true costs of the four Tysons Corner Silver Line stations are unknown. Likely, each station cost over $250 million - a total $1.0 billion. The total Tysons daily boardings projected as I recall are around 20,000 persons per day during the week.
Navid Roshan September 17, 2012 at 07:08 PM
? I literally prefaced everything with exactly how I derive my logical points. I am engineer, assertions are guesses, proper analysis should specify what your assumptions are and where you are getting your information. All of which I have done above if you actually read what I wrote instead of trying to pick a fight with me for some really abnormal reason. Again, I have been extremely critical of WMATA, to the point of saying that if NOVA got it's act together, part of the lost funding we give away to Richmond to spend on projects that dont improve anyones lives or economy, could start its own system. We in NOVA have for too long lived the life as the suburb of DC, when in almost every right we are the actual center of commerce in this region. So again, in this case, I agree with you, WMATA didnt pay at all for the silver line expansion, therefore no additional funds beyond the current pro-rata share of Virginia's system should go to WMATA. As far as your fear mongering on the subject of lack of funds for WMATA expansions, cite sources for your own blatherings, and please indicate what the hell this has to do with the article about MWAA and DTR neither of which have ANYTHING to do with WMATA. Your circular logic makes my head hurt, and I seriously need to stop discussing things with you because you simply want to rile up people instead of discussing logical solutions and ways forward.
Sushil September 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM
We don't have super pac or special interest to create awareness among public. I bet if even 10% public come to know this robbery we can make MWAA accountable for all their mismanagement.
Ray Wedell November 15, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Hi Bob, I like your insight. I have considered Tom Davis to be cut from a different cloth than other politicians. How prominent is his role in this now, and is their hope that he will speak for the citizens? Just wondering your opinion on this.
Ray Wedell November 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I don't take the subway now, and won't be. I do drive regularly in the local area. I am really looking forward to upcoming traffic jams around Wiehle, and having my back broken by carrying the load of ridiculous toll hikes to pay for bloated salaries of "leaders" who could care less about me or any citizen. All to fund something I won't be using. But that die was cast lonnnng ago. I assume that my once-every-year trip to a Nationals game will cost me $28 or so on rail, take 75 minutes, and I will need to leave the game before they shut down service on the D.C. end at an early hour. It would be cheaper to take a stretch limousine to the game and not have to pay all the endless toll road and subway taxes for years.
No Toll Increase November 15, 2012 at 02:42 PM
MWAA is a total embarrassment. One USDOT IG investigation complete, another (Dulles Rail-specific) in progress, and an FBI investigation in-progress too... Yet they continue to raise tolls on commuters for a project few of us will use. Virginia must take or toll road back from MWAA and put an end to this corruption and abuse. Sign the petition at www.noTOLLincrease.org. There are better ways to solve our transportation problems!

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