Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dulles rail meeting between Ray LaHood and Va., local officials fails to yield deal, Washington Post, May 2, 2012

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday that a meeting on Metro’s planned Silver Line to Dulles Airport yielded progress but not a final deal to move forward with the second and final phase of the $3 billion expansion.
LaHood, who mediated an earlier dispute over the fate of the project, called for the closed-door meeting of key officials in an effort to resolve a stalemate over a swirl of issues.

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton, chairmen of Loudoun and Fairfax counties’ boards of supervisors, and officials from Metro and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority joined LaHood for the meeting at his office in the District. . . .
Click here for the rest of the article.  

The focus of the meeting appears to have been on MWAA's intransigence on the PLA issue, offering preferential treatment to contractors who include a PLA as part of their bid package.  Loudoun's continued participation in the agreement also appears to have been a topic.

What was apparently not a topic is the 75% burden for Phase 2 construction costs that will be absorbed by Dulles Toll Road users in the current "funding partners" agreement, the most inequitable and unfair aspect of the current spending plan.  That puts $17 billion in rail financing and toll road O&M costs over four decades (& probably longer) on the 100K-200K users of the toll road, and especially those who use the toll road to commute.  That multi-billion dollar estimate apparently does not include needed capital investments (such as electronic tolling). 

With tolls set to double next year and triple within six years according to MWAA's estimates (others put the numbers higher), the agreement among MWAA, Loudoun, & Fairfax is not only unfair and inequitable, it is likely to stifle the very economic growth that Metrorail is suppose to stimulate. 

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