Last Tuesday, Virginia's State Corporation Commission held the first of a series of three public hearings on the higher tolls now being charged on the Dulles Greenway by Toll Road Investors Partnership II, operator of the privately owned toll road owned by the Macquarie Group, an Australia-based hedge fund. . .
Public backlash from Loudoun County commuters over the rising tolls convinced Del. Joe May, R-Leesburg, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, to sponsor a budget amendment in the recent legislative session that would have had Virginia taxpayers purchase the Greenway, which is deeply in debt despite the state-approved tolls it currently charges.
But as The Washington Examiner pointed out in January, May didn't utter a peep of protest when former Gov. Tim Kaine handed over the state-owned Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in 2006 without the General Assembly's approval, knowing full well that DTR tolls will have to climb even higher than those on the Greenway to cover the debt incurred to construct the Metrorail Silver Line. . .
. . . TRIP II (owner/operator of the Greenway) will soon enough figure out that raising tolls beyond the level that the public is willing to pay is counterproductive.
The real problem is that the same thing is likely to happen with the publicly built Dulles Toll Road, and nobody is talking about that.Click here for the rest of this editorial.
And, of course, the problem with people not taking the DTR is that they will add to the gridlock already experienced on Fairfax County's other free public roadways, including key east-west roads in Reston.