dulles toll road
Typical tolls on the Dulles Toll Road in northern Virginia rose from $1.25 to $1.75 or 40% this morning (Friday Jan 1). This is the first of three annual toll increases aimed to raise tolls 80% by 2012 that were formally adopted by the toll operator - Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) - last year.
Bond Buyer news gave their "Deal of the Year Award" to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) for using the revenues of the Dulles Toll Road to bond a metrorail transit line out to the airport and beyond into sparsely settled Loudoun County.
Virginia DOT was planning to use an existing contract with TransCore to implement about $54m of toll system upgrades to bring open road tolling (ORT) to the Dulles Toll Road in the Washington DC metro area. However a spokesman for the new DTR owners, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) says they have the option to issue an open Request For Proposals to compete the project.
Dulles Toll Road has been put in for $44.1m of stimulus (aka ARRA TIGER) grants from the federal government to fund full open road tolling by its new operator Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
There are solid arguments that financing of a new rail line in the median of Dulles Toll Road with toll revenues is bad public policy. The area of northern Virginia beyond Tysons Corner is predominantly automobile-country with dispersed workplaces, and suburban houses. And it's prosperous enough for every adult to own their car.
Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (WMAA) will proceed with a phased-in option of toll increases proposed by staff. The board voted today to go with a plan that would raise tolls at the mainline plaza 25c/year over the next three years: 75c, $1.00, $1.25 and $1.50. Ramp tolls would go up 25c to 75c and remain at that level. The first toll increases are likely early 2010.
Dulles Toll Road (DTR) toll rates will be nearly doubled by 2012 under a plan being considered by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) who want to use tolls and toll revenue bonds to finance just over half the cost of a 5.26b metro-rail line.
A Judge in Richmond VA has rejected claims that Virginia DOT doesn't have the power to transfer control of the Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
The proposed transfer of the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) from the control of Virginia DOT to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is in doubt following a court victory by opponents. The state supreme court in Richmond today in a 19 page opinion overturned a lower court ruling that the transfer was protected from challenge by a doctrine of sovereign immunity.
The Virginia Supreme Court has blocked regional transportation funding powers legislated last year saying the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) cannot be granted revenue raising powers reserved by the state constitution to the General Assembly or to directly elected bodies. This immediately invalidates another funding source previously relied on for the Dulles metrorail project planned in the median of the Dulles Toll Road.