Dulles Toll Road Fee Projected to Increase to $4.75 in 2019, $6 in 2023

by Dave Emke October 18, 2017 at 11:30 am 45 Comments

Users of the Dulles Toll Road can expect to pay more in 2019, according to a 2018 draft budget presented to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board today.

No increase from the $3.50 toll ($2.50 at the plaza and $1 at the ramp) is planned in 2018; however, it is expected to jump to $4.75 the following year. Numbers presented by the Board’s Finance Committee show that is only the beginning of the hikes.

In 2023, the toll is projected to go up to $6. Additional jumps of $1.25 or more are projected every five years for the following two decades, resulting in an $11.25 toll in 2043.

The toll last increased in 2014, when it went up from $2.75 to the current rate. It steadily increased each year from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, the toll was $1.25 (75 cents at the plaza and 50 cents at the ramp).

Tolls are used in part by MWAA to help fund the expansion of Metro’s Silver Line. Nearly half the cost of the construction, about $2.8 billion, is being paid by Toll Road fees.

  • Generic User

    Highway robbery…..

    • Chkitout1

      You can thank Tim Kaine who as governor gave the Dulles Toll Road to WMATA to help fund Metro. Well Metro is deep in debt and now the citizens of Virginia who use the toll road are being used to help WMATA out of debt. Debt caused by WMATA incompetence.

  • Just Askin

    “Tolls are used in part by MWAA to help fund the expansion of Metro’s Silver Line”

    So… um… the Silver Line is running now, why isn’t it charging enough to pay for itself?

    • NVMR

      They probably realized they don’t have enough funds for the expansion since they keep messing up and are probably using the $ elsewhere.

    • Mike M

      Because then nobody would use it and the failure would be self-evident and more difficult to cover over.

    • Why do you bother?

      it is being underutilized because it sucks. Ergo, less revenue.

    • Onereally

      I remember our glorious supervisor sending me an email with the balance sheet before construction stating that 75% of the toll money goes to Metro and the other goes to the Toll road. We exchanged heated emails about the present of so many potholes. Since 2005 I have tried to avoid the road at all cost.

      I take Lawyers to 123 to get to Tysons.
      Take Baron Cameron (eventually) to Georgetown Pike to get 495 and Maryland if needed.

      Take West Ox – 50 – 66 to get to DC.

    • meyerweb

      Umm, the silver line out to Loudoun is still under construction. And none of rail lines pay for themselves. They’re subsidized, JUST LIKE HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION. You don’t think all those roads got built for free, do you?

  • Mike M

    This alone is reason enough to fire Ken Plum, Gerry Connolly, Cathy Hudgins, and Sharon Bulova. Of course there are many other reasons. They are great on platitudes like “social justice.” But that’s the scam to get them past accountability on the things that really matter. So, when their policies raise the cost of living, they presume we can all afford it. When it becomes evident that many cannot, they propose “assistance” and “subsidy.” Because after all, we can afford endless boost in the cost of everything and pay everyone else’s way as well. Liberal policies – NOT SUSTAINABLE! Because pretty soon you start to run out of other people’s money.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Plum.and Hudgins are responsible for this
      Instead of continually whining about how tough it is, Plum should get off his backside and do his job
      Hudgins is collecting from MWAA and should be fired immediately for incompetence

      • Mike M

        So are Connolly and Bulova.

      • Reston Realist

        what is Plum’s job? Honestly, I think it’s only to whine….He is the most worthless public official in the state. He does absolutely NOTHING!

        • Heh

          His job is to enhance the self-esteem of aging Boomer liberals in Reston and delude them into thinking he’s representing their interests in Richmond.

    • Doubting Thomas

      Everyone you just named has been sucking from the public trough for years. It’s their form of welfare.

    • Conservative Senior

      Don’t forget the transportation tax district they imposed.

    • Sidewinder

      Why will no one run against Plum? I’m sick of his mindless rhetoric and leftist ideals.

  • Onereally

    Remember just a dozen or so years ago when it was .50 cents the main toll and .25 cents at the exits? I remember thinking even then the tolls are to high.

    • Greg

      The grand bargain, way back when, included us paying tolls on the road until it (not metro and everything else) was paid for. The toll road was paid for many years ago, including the two expansions.

      If we are stuck with tolls, then it’s (past) time to get rid of delay-causing toll-takers and booths and fully automate the tolling as it is done everywhere else.

      • Mike M

        Indeed. The tolls have gone from constructive – to pay for the road that is tolled, to punitive to punish certain lifestyles to subsidize others. That is the state of government these days.

        • Reston Realist

          social engineering at it’s finest

      • 40yearsinreston

        They are on the gravy train with full government benefits
        Where else can they get a job which requires then to sit on their backsides all day

        • Off_He_Goes


      • Bah

        I also think it is time to charge tolls on the inside (to and from airport) lanes. No reason to give them a free pass.

    • Greg

      And the $.25 tolls were only at the westbound exits. Eastbound exiting (before the main toll plaza) was free.

      • meyerweb

        It still is, except at Rt 7.

  • parking

    Meanwhile, our tax dollars are paying to massively widen rt 7 since nobody wants to pay to use the toll road.

    • 40yearsinreston

      The ‘Greenway’and other public-private ‘partnerships’ are the biggest rip offs


    When the toll road was planned and approved it was based on a promise that the tolls would be eliminated when it was complete.This was only fair since the gas tax is a user road tax, so Reston residents were being asked to pay twice for our roads, but at least we were getting an essential road.

    But, governments are greedy, there is never enough $$$ for bureaucrats’ schemes, and that promise was soon ignored and then denied! Tolls continued…eventually having nothing to do with the actual cost of building the toll road.

    Now the government is greedy for even more. It is unfair to those of us who lived in Reston and paid for this road many times over and our gas taxes as well.

    There is the related topic of the numerous false readings of “unpaid tolls” that leads to excessive fines or taking off work for a day (or days) to correct those erroneous claims in Fairfax Court which I have had to do on multiple occasions.

    Our Representative Ken Plum and State Senator Janet Howell have done nothing to protect Reston residents. The last time I called Ken Plum on erroneous charges his office said “just call” the very people responsible for the charges.

    • Reston Realist

      It’s just another tax — like you said. There are so many of those hidden taxes disguised as user fees that it creates a cost-push type of inflation… the inflation that is not calculated in the CPI, but a true cost to the consumer. In effect, wages have to rise just to keep pace with the tax structure.

    • Onereally

      Growing up in the Hampton Roads area we had them on what is known as the Downtown and Midtown tunnels. We also had one going out to VA beach on what used to be RTE 44 ( now I-264).

      Citizens fought for years to have them removed. As like you said the roads were paid off many times over. They were lining the states pockets

      Now its my understanding the tolls are now back at the tunnels. Along with a few others in the area.

      A government hungry for money.

  • cRAzy

    I guess our state and local governments have just accepted (and are OK with) the fact that they’ve completely failed the people they represent.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Way too expensive. It’s already way too expensive. As others have said, the tolls were supposed to go away, not keep going up indefinitely. This is not okay.

    • Conservative Senior

      You may thank Timmy Kaine, the democrat, for giving away the Dulles Toll Rd.

      • meyerweb

        And do you think it would be any cheaper if he hadn’t? You’re a dreamer.

    • Hieronymus Bosch

      rewind to 2004, from VDOT’s own press release…DTR is and only continues to be a cash cow.

      Additional Information on the Dulles Toll Road:
      The Dulles Toll Road carries more than 200,000 vehicles a day. In fiscal year 2004, toll revenues generated
      $41 million, of which $12.2 million went to bond payments, $15 million to operating expenses and $750,000
      to maintenance reserves. Up to 85 percent of the remaining $11.1 million was allocated to transit
      improvements and 15 percent was allocated to the Dulles Toll Road Improvement Fund.

      Updated to 2013 (the most recent data I could find, but feel free to correct and revise) – sourced from WMATAs own study by CDM Smith 2014.
      Toll increases in January 2013 at the Main Line and ramps yielded a significant increase in revenues
      very similar to the revenue realization that took place in 2010. January 2013 experienced a 22.9
      percent increase in revenues compared to January 2012. Overall, CY2013 experienced a 25.1 percent
      increase in toll revenues, reaching $127.1 million compared to $101.6 million in the prior year.

  • Mike M

    Congratulations, everyone. We have ourselves an “elite” highway!
    And it just keeps getting more so!

  • JoeInReston

    Shouldn’t the economic laws of price elasticity kick in at some point such that toll increases cause toll revenue decreases? Or is the commute demand so strong that MWAA can charge whatever it likes? We’ll certainly find out over the next couple of years.

    • Mike M

      We are the way to finding that point.

  • SonnyG10

    I knew when they said it that the tolls would never go away. Too much temptation for the government to give up a cash cow.

  • Richard Lynch

    We need to add tolls to the airport lanes. They could be high, say $10 each way since most users are business users who get reimbursed. That would allow the tolls for citizens to be lower and god forbid eliminated.

    • Arielle in NoVA

      Meaning it wouldn’t cost most business fliers anything but families going on vacation would pay an extra $20 per vacation. Not OK.

    • Greg

      Make those who ride the silver line to Dulles pay the toll.

    • Entertainmentguru

      Really? Most users? You are way off base.

  • Tammi Petrine

    Whoa! Folks, I think we may be missing part of this puzzle. Remember that VA state’s measly contribution to the Silver Line was used to buy tolls down for 5 years so public didn’t fixate on high cost of this WMATA new leg? THEN we were supposed to have toll increases START in JANUARY of 2018. Now ‘they’ have moved the toll increases to 2019! WHY? I think ‘they’ know the natives are PISSED about the zoning and degradation of our town and want the waters to calm a bit before another expense hits the fan. And before we find out about Phase 2 cost overruns.

    HA! AFTER we get off the DTR, we still have to navigate the grid-locked streets of Reston and send our kids to over-crowded schools!!!

    Come one, come all to SLHS at 7PM on Monday, 10/23 and wear YELLOW. Join fellow Restonians AND members of adjoining communities who will also be adversely affected by any MORE density ‘upgrades’ for developers and no money for infrastructure upgrades.

    Be on lookout for community volunteers with clipboards: LEGIBLY fill out contact-info sheets provided so we can communicate AFTER this meeting for next steps. ‘Cause there WILL be NEXT Steps if our supervisor insists on pursuing PRC or OTHER corridor zoning changes. This will be the MOTHER of ALL recent meetings. Don’t stay home; that’s what Hudgins and Co. are hoping for. If you are ticked, come forth and be heard NOW.

    The DTR tolls are indeed heinous but only one part of the puzzle.


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