Virginia State Corporation Commission granted Loudoun County permission to
intervene in an investigation of Dulles Greenway operators TRIP II, a
subsidiary of Australia-based Mcquarie Group.
Supervisors earlier this month voted unanimously to request permission to intervene on the investigation requested by Del. David Ramadan (R-87). The investigation aims to reduce tolls along the Greenway, which are around $5 each way during rush hour. Tolls are the same regardless of how far motorists travel on the Greenway.
TRIP II has resisted requests to consider lowering tolls or at least adjusting them to reflect distance travel. A state law from early ‘90s authorized the Greenway operators – at the time established by a local family – to operate the road and make a profit.
During the Sept. 4 board meeting, one supervisor said TRIP II was misleading the public and “extorting” drivers.
“The Greenway is being operated like a hedge fund,” said Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn). “TRIP II is using the Greenway like a piggy bank to fund other investments.”
Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) made the motion to intervene.
“I don’t know of a bigger public policy problem facing Loudoun County,” he said.
However, Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) questioned whether the investigation would result in any changes without state legislators making changes to the law permitting private operation of the road.
The voted unanimously to seek to intervene in the case. TRIP II opposed the intervention, but the SCC ruled in favor of the county.
“This will allow the county to cross-examine witnesses and become a formal part of the proceedings, which were initiated by Del. David Ramadan,” said Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large).
In addition, the Virginia Department of Transportation recently installed signs along Loudoun County Parkway and Route 606 that indicated the cost of Greenway tolls, a number that some have complained is hard to find elsewhere.
“We all know that informational signs are not the ultimate solution for the Dulles Greenway, but while I continue my legal fight against the Greenway, at least they will ensure that drivers are able to make informed choices,” Ramadan about the signs.
It was unclear from the board's Sept. 4 motion how much the intervention would cost the county. County Attorney John R. Roberts had expressed concerns to at least one supervisor about the case workload.