Reston2020: Tolls Biggest Issue for Rail
Toll increases to pay for Phase 2 will make road "the highway of the one percent."
Advocacy Group Reston 2020 says that rising tolls - and not project-labor agreements - are the most important issue for the Silver Line.
In a new white paper (attached to this story in a PDF) titled Rail to Dulles: The Highway of the One Percent, Reston 2020 says tolls will rise more than 800 percent in the years ahead.
The group, part of the Reston Citizens Association, says the PLA dispute is basically irrelevant.
Reston 2020 says the huge toll increases will cost regular Fairfax County toll road users almost half of any real income gains over the next four decades as tolls approach $20 one-way and take $17 billion out of the local economy.
The Silver Line's $3 billion Phase 2, which is slated to run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County, is caught up in disputes about the project-labor dispute and who will pay for the rest of the project.
Loudoun County has until July 4 to decide if it will proceed. Fairfax County has already voiced its commitment. While $900 million was paid in Phase 1, scheduled to be completed late last year, there is no federal money for Phase 2.
Reston 2020 forecasts indicate that 30,000 or more vehicles per day will divert to congested local roads next year when tolls double. By mid-century, high tolls will lead some 80,000-120,000 potential drivers to desert the toll road, turning it into a “Highway of the One Percent,” the group says.
Reston 2020 proposes that in addition to toll road users, station area landowners and the local funding jurisdictions—Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties—share equally in the cost of the line.
“The Silver Line is an investment in the future of Reston and the Dulles Corridor,” said RCA President Colin Mills. “In order for it to succeed, everyone needs to step up to the plate and do their part."