Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Friday, January 20, 2012

Opposing Views on Whether Dulles Rail Should Go to Dulles

FOR:  Dulles Metro must go to Dulles Airport, GreaterGreaterWashington

By Dan Malouf

It seems like a no-brainer that the long-planned Dulles Airport Metro line should include a stop at Dulles Airport, but to one key decision-maker, that remains an open question.

At yesterday's meeting of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), board member Robert Clarke Brown, a presidential appointee, suggested re-routing Phase 2 of the Silver Line to skip Dulles Airport.
The airport station is expensive, he says, and so MWAA should consider simply not building it. Metro riders hoping to access Dulles would instead transfer to some kind of shuttle or people-mover from the Route 28 station, the next closest.
Skipping the airport and replacing it with a people-mover would reduce the project's overall $2.8 billion price tag by approximately $70 million. That, argues Brown, is reason to take his suggestion seriously. It shouldn't be. . . .

Photo by XYZ+T on Flickr.

By Yonah Freemark
 Yesterday, Robert Brown, a member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), suggested rethinking his agency’s planned Metro rail extension out to Dulles Airport, the Washington region’s prime international gateway. Instead of the bringing this $2.8 billion rail link — frequently referred to as the Silver Line — directly to the airport, Brown noted that replacing the final 1.5-mile connection with a people mover would save $70 million thanks to a more limited right-of-way and the construction of one less Metro station.
The Silver Line is an extension of the Washington Metro’s Orange Line and will eventually reach Loudoun County. The first segment of the project, to Tyson’s Corner and Wiehle  Avenue, is planned to open for service next year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea was perceived as heresy, both by local commenters and board members. Mame Reiley, one board member, saidI just don’t think that’s what we labored for… it is not rail to Dulles.” Concerns were raised that the federal government might delay the program because the board was “starting over.” And indeed the proposal appears to have been dismissed by the authority board as unacceptable.
Counter-intuitively, however, such a change in alignment could be a reasonable money-saver and may actually improve transit service for both commuters and air travelers. And though the question is immediately relevant to the Dulles Rail extension, it is equally valid to many cities, as the issue of extending rail networks out towards airports is frequently of concern for transportation planners in major metropolitan areas. . . .
 Check them both out!

1 comment:

  1. And so the multi-billion dollar Rail to Loudoun Stimulus moves forward. When there is this much money pushing a project, it rolls right over congressmen, governors, state delegates, oh, and of course the people.

    Folks, this mutt of a project shines on the outside but it is not the key to our economic future, if brought into Loudoun, it will be a ball and chain that puts us in financial bondage to Metro...FOREVER!. First to the unions who construct it, then the unions who run it.

    Our reps can't - won't even take a stand to protect our right to work laws. That means your tolls, and increasing property taxes, will be building a rail line most will never use. Leadership?

    The developers are laughing all the way to the bank. Big landholder SAIC in Tysons had Gerry boy Connally double dipping while decisions were made that will likely make SAIC about $250M fatter. They hire slick lobbyists to feed the politicians the talking points while the facts from credible studies show this is uneconomic and will have little effect on traffic. Yes we can build Rail!

    Ask yourself, "When did the Board of Supervisors or the Commonwealth of Virginia or the US gov't become responsible for spending billions on these risky development schemes." Most states are waking up and saying "No thanks"
    Wake up Virginia.
    go to


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