Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Board weighs eliminating Metro stop at Dulles, Washington Examiner, January 18, 2012

You just can't make this stuff up!  Yes, you read that right:  An MWAA Board member proposed eliminating the Dulles Metrorail station in the "rail to Dulles" project.  This utterly ridiculous comment has already garnered nationwide attention--and well-deserved embarrassment for MWAA. 

This Washington Examiner article (click to link) by Liz Essley has the best coverage of the comment and its context.  Here's how the article begins:
The airports authority in charge of building the Metro rail extension to Dulles International Airport is considering eliminating the Metro station at the airport.
Instead of stopping at the airport, Metro's new Silver Line would drop airport passengers off along Route 28 in Fairfax County. Riders would then have to ride a bus or a light rail train another 1.5 miles to the airport, according to a proposal discussed Wednesday by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
An interesting side issue raised in the article is private financing for the line, an idea first raised as an idea to explore by MWAA CEO Jack Potter at a November meeting of the Dulles Corridor Advisory Council (MWAA, VRPT, Fairfax, & Loudoun leaders).  Here's where it's at now:
The authority on Wednesday also weighed an offer by a Chinese company that wants to help finance the rail line. Board members have talked about seeking a private investor to help reduce the public's cost of the project, but board members said Wednesday that they believe private financing may end up being more expensive than loan deals being offered by the federal government.
"I think we're off on a wild goose chase to be quite honest with you," airports CEO Jack Potter said, adding that private investment wouldn't be worth the risk.
Well, that was a quick change of thinking by Mr. Potter, not that he was all that enthusiastic about the idea in November.

Who knows what the MWAA Board will think of next???

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