The Board of Supervisors must decide by July 4 whether or not Loudoun will participate in the Phase II Metrorail project which will bring rail to Dulles Airport and two Loudoun stations west of Dulles. It has been one of the most hotly debated subjects in recent memory. A lot of facts and figures have been tossed around, both in public meetings and in the various blogs, which have been full of comments pro and con.
Basically, however, there is one key question which must be answered: Are the projected costs worth the projected benefits?
We all know what the benefits are: Commuters will be able to move more easily between Loudoun County and employment centers in parts of Fairfax, Arlington, and Washington. Eventually (in 25 years or so), commercial development around the Metro stations will produce a fiscal positive to the county.
Arriving at the cost is not so easy, however, and to answer the cost/benefit question, the true costs first have to be ascertained. In every analysis I've seen so far, some element of the costs have been missing.
In my newly constructed website (www.jimburton.org ), I've taken a closer look at the projected costs and benefits. For those interested in this project, its costs, and benefits, I invite you to take a look at my take on the Dulles Metrorail at http://www.jimburton.org/69-updates.html .