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Friday, May 4, 2012

Virginia Tolls Are Biggest Silver Line Issue, Not Unions, Residents Say, WAMU 88.5 radio, May 4, 2012


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By: Martin Di Caro
Rates on the Dulles Toll Road could go from their current $1.50 to higher than $6.
A Virginia citizens group says the most critical issue surrounding the construction of Phase 2 of Metro's Silver Line to Dulles Airport is tolls, which are projected to rise to $6 or more on the Dulles Toll Road.
A pro-union provision proposed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority got most of the attention this week, when federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held a closed door meeting with the Silver Line stakeholders to try to resolve disputes over the $2.7 billion project. The Reston Citizens Association, which represents 58,000 residents in Fairfax County, says the controversy over whether bidding contractors should receive a preference for choosing union labor is not as important as toll projections on the Dulles Toll Road. Those tolls are supposed to pay off the project’s debt over the next 40 years under the current funding structure.
In a letter sent Friday to Secretary LaHood, Terry Maynard, who sits on the association’s board of directors, said this week’s efforts to resolve the dispute over union labor "barely touch on the most critical issue of the construction of Phase 2 of the Silver Line: three-quarters of the cost of Phase 2 of the rail line’s construction will be borne by the 100,000 or so users of the Dulles Toll Road, many of them Reston residents. The result will be that toll road users will end up paying more than half of the nearly $6 billion total cost of the Silver Line." . . . .

The same article appears in Transportation Nation as "Tolls Still a Sticking Point in Dulles Rail Project."

1 comment:

  1. Republicans in particular have made a lot of noise about the project labor agreement, which in Phase 1 has had a very positive effect, included in the Phase 2 plan. The agreement provides only modest additional assurance that the men and women who actually build the rail line and stations will be treated fairly.
    As Terry Maynard and the RCA voice for our community point out, the really serious issue is the funding of Phase 2 largely on the back of local residents through high tolls. That may in fact help provide incentive for more people to ride the train, but it sure ain't fair!

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