Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dulles Toll Road Fact Sheet #3: The Toll Surcharge, March 14, 2012

Reston Citizens Association
Reston 2020 Committee
March 14, 2012
Dulles Toll Road
Fact Sheet #3:  The Toll Surcharge

Put Dulles rail finances on the right track,
Not on the toll road user’s back!

If you are among the tens of thousands of Fairfax County residents who regularly use the Dulles Toll Road[1]—mostly commuters—you face a nearly $1,000 increase in your toll road costs next year as tolls double.  That’s a 0.9% toll surcharge in 2013 to pay for Dulles rail on the average Fairfax household income.  

Your real annual toll road costs will increase to almost $1,600 by 2020—a 1.5% toll surcharge for rail—and increase to well over $2,000 in real terms in 2023 and beyond.   The toll surcharge nearly reaches 3% in the out years.   

If your household income happens to be less than the median county household income (~$110,000 this year), your toll surcharge rate increases proportionally—a truly regressive surcharge on toll road users.  For example, a regular toll road user whose household income is $80,000 per year would face the same added costs.  These would be equivalent to a 1.2% toll surcharge next year and a 2.1% toll surcharge in 2020, and the rate would climb from there.

The reason regular toll road users will be forced to pay these extra thousands of dollars each year is that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed with Loudoun County and MWAA that toll road users should pay 75% of the cost of Phase 2 Silver Line construction absent other funding sources.  And no one else has stepped up.  That decision is subject to reconfirmation with the recent announcement of updated construction costs ($2.8 billion for Phase 2) and toll road traffic and revenue forecast.  The forecast is based on a preliminary estimate of borrowing costs for revenue bonds to pay for most of the new Metrorail line—and toll road users will pay off those revenue bonds.

Asking Dulles Toll Road users to absorb 75% of the cost of completing rail to Dulles is a very bad idea for toll road users and our communities.  Our leaders need to find alternative funding sources for the bulk the $2.8 billion Phase 2 construction cost ($2.1 billion now planned from tolls).  We believe toll road users should absorb no more than 25% of the cost as planned in 2004.  Until then, Phase 2 needs to be put on hold

Let our leaders know what you think of this “rail gone bad” idea.

·         Contact the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at with your comments and concerns. 
o   Call Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins at 703-478-0283.
o   Call Board Chairman Sharon Bulova at 703-324-2321.

·         Contact our local state legislators:
o   Senator Janet Howell:, 703-324-2321.
o   Delegate Ken Plum:, 703-758-9733.

·         Contact our incoming and outgoing Congressional representatives using these forms—

·         Attend the public meetings to learn more and question County transportation officials about the toll increases. 
o   Wednesday, March 14, 6:30-8:00PM, Herndon:  Hutchison Elementary School Cafeteria, 13209 Parcher Ave., Herndon, VA
o   Thursday, March 15, 6:30-8:00PM, Falls Church:  Westgate Elementary School, 7500 Magarity Rd., Falls Church, VA
o   Friday, March 16, 7:00-9:00PM, Fairfax:  Fairfax County Government Center, Conf Rm 9/10 (Lobby level), 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA

·         Attend and, if you wish, speak at the Public Hearing on Phase 2 of Dulles rail on Tuesday, March 20, at 5PM.  To sign up to speak at the hearing, please fill out the online form at­_bos.htm

·         Help RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee stop this inequitable toll surcharge by contacting

[1] Regular toll road users use the Dulles Toll Road twice a day, 220 days per year or 44 work weeks.  The balance of the year, they have vacations, holidays, business travel, illness, or other considerations that keep them off the toll road.  We believe this is a conservative estimation of “regular” toll road use.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly there are legitimate questions with the Phase 2 plan (including with the construction cost as well as the traffic and toll analysis that have been presented). But really now, is there any level of refinement that would satisfy? Therefore is it responsible that until this amorphous degree of exactness is provided, that the Reston Citizens Association would even suggest that Phase 2 should be “put on hold”?

    I would say, the last thing the Reston community needs is for the Wiehle Avenue Metro station to be come the western terminus for any longer than necessary. This is especially true if Phase 2 is postponed, perhaps indefinitely as it scrambles to predict the future to satisfy those that may never be satisfied anyway.


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