WTOP: Virginia Might Buy Greenway

Del. May says negotiations underway for road with high tolls, long called 'highway robbery' by some.

WTOP is reporting Virginia is in negotiations to buy the Dulles Greenway from current owner Toll Road Investors Partnership, a subsidiary of Australia-based Macquarie Group.

The news outlet reported Del. Joe T. May (R-33), who represents western Loudoun, confirmed such negotiations were underway.  

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Should the state buy the Greenway?

TRIP was originally designed as a privately operated toll road by a local family, but the family sold it after it failed to turn a profit. State law was created to permit a 50-year concession of the road, after which it would revert back to the state. The law, however, permits the operator to make a profit, which has resulted in main gate tolls near $5 at rush hour.

Congressman Frank R. Wolf (R-10) has long called the arrangement "highway robbery" and has urged the state to change the law. Attempts to persuade TRIP II to institute distance pricing have been unsuccessful because the owners believe it could result in financial losses.

The tolls are likely to come under greater focus as the state increases tolls for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority-operated Dulles Toll Road to pay for Metro's Silver Line project.

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No Toll Increase January 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM
May's bill is a disaster waiting to happen. The Dulles Greenway is privately owned, and toll increases are limited by the authorizing legislation. If the Commonwealth takes the Greenway over, they can raise the tolls as much as they want. May is desperate for more Transportation funding, and this is one way to get it. Almost a guarantee that tolls will go up if this goes through. He himself admits that a takeover will NOT result in lower tolls on the Greenway. With Dulles Toll Road tolls continuing to skyrocket to pay for the rail project, less people will use the Greenway. Traffic on the Greenway peaked in 2005, when Dulles Rail toll increases on the DTR started, and has declined ever since. Route 7 will also see the lights at Sycolin, Belmont Ridge, Lexington Dr. and Ashburn Village Blvd. eliminated soon, making that option from Leesburg to Rt. 28 even better. Del. May is offering this effort as a distraction from the increasing tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. He won't touch that issue since developers and his financial backers don't want him to disrupt the "delicate financial balance" of the Dulles Rail project. Here's a good article about this proposal: http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6354 Read about better solutions to this mess at www.noTOLLincrease.org
Bob Bruhns February 06, 2013 at 11:33 PM
I believe that No Toll Increase is right. The Dulles Greenway tolls have been much higher than the DTR tolls all along - but even with the planned future Greenway toll increases, the Dulles Toll Road tolls will greatly exceed the Greenway tolls in a few years. I think that the goal of this apparently insane Greenway purchase plan must be to buy the Greenway to release the toll limits on it, in order to raise the Dulles Greenway tolls at the same skyrocket rate as the Dulles Toll Road tolls will rise. Probably this is being planned in order to collect more money for the Dulles Rail / Silver Line - that is, in order to help double-pay for this little rail line, and also to pay the interest on the money that has to be borrowed to PAY that double-charge. I'm talking about $2.5 billion to $3 billion of overcharge here. For the record, I will be happy if this can be proven wrong - but I think it will be proven true.
Dave February 07, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Give me a break! These dummies bought houses in loudoun to save money so they could buy McMansions knowing they would either have to bear the excruciating commute on rt7 or cough up the money to save 30+ minutes by using the greenway. Now they are complaining?! Great, so now let us subsidize the choice people made to live in a mansion instead of a condo in Arlington. Makes sense. And let those commuters give to Caesar what belongs to Caeser to fund a metro that benefits no one out west except for the govt and developers. Genius.


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