72°Thunderstorm

For the First Time in Four Years, Dulles Toll Road Rates May Increase Next Year

by Fatimah Waseem May 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm 74 Comments

For the first time since 2014, Dulles Toll Road rates could increase by about one-third next year.

Motorists have paid $2.50 at the mainline plaza and $1 at exit ramps, totaling $3.50 for the last four years.

Under the plan, tolls would rise to $3.25 at the main plaza and $1.50 at exit ramps, totaling $4.75 overall. Increases would continue in the years ahead, with a $6 toll from 2023 through 2027, $7.25 from 2028 through 2032, $8.75 from 2033 through 2037, and $10 from 2038 through 2042.

Public hearings on the proposal are set for the summer, most likely in July and August. A vote authorizing the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to proceed with the process for proposed rate adjustments is set for June 20. Board action on final increases would occur in mid-October.

Officials said the toll increase is necessary to prevent toll revenue from falling below the minimum required to cover debt service costs. Tolls are expected to fund about $2.8 billion of the $5.7 billion cost of the Silver Line project.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem; graphic by MWAA

  • cRAzy

    There is no “may” to this increase. It will happen. The rest is just a kabuki dance.

    • 30yearsinreston

      I sense another charrette

  • Richard

    What happened to the $20 tolls? Isn’t that what all the Republican candidates were predicting a few years ago? It was a sure thing that by 2030 we would have $20 tolls. Guess the Dems prevented it.

    • The Constitutionalist

      The toll on the beltway hit $45 earlier this year.

      They had to get the money from somewhere. The money ALWAYS has to come from somewhere.

      Also, it’s only 2018, let’s give it another 12 years.

      • Richard

        The VOLUNTARY toll hit $45 during peak periods. The political debate was over the Dulles toll road, not the Beltway. Republicans frequently have to predict baloney hyperbolic outcomes to try to get elected. Look no farther than the Republican Party for your fake news.

        • I’d rather post as a guest

          There are no republicans on the local ballot, just so you know.
          Your comment does not make sense.

          • Richard

            “Isn’t that what all the Republican candidates were predicting a few years ago?”

            Please keep up.

          • I’d rather post as a guest

            Sorry wrong guy, I am apolitical. But I am against
            . excessive tolls
            . broken promises
            . high density
            You can sum it up by saying I am against the current platform that the democrat candidates are defending.
            Thanks for sharing your info.

          • Richard

            The thing about density, if done right, is that it allows you to maintain large areas for recreation and green space, and offer efficient public transit options. Otherwise, you have two options. You can continue to grow, using up all available land with a sprawling mess and transportation gridlock, or you can suspend or reverse growth and watch your businesses dry up as investment moves elsewhere. I don’t mind high density immediately around the Metro stations, but only if the road infrastructure is coincident with the development and they quit jacking up development throughout the rest of Reston, converting neighborhood shopping centers and community plazas into condo buildings.

          • I’d rather post as a guest

            “if done right”

            There is little the county has done right to help transportation during the past ten years, in fact more people have been maimed and died incl pedestrians, cyclists and bikers.

            But your arguments are convincing, I let you rest in the false belief that you won the debate and that I will vote for another incumbent in the near future.

            Even China does not tax real estate as excessively as FFX Cty! And this toll, its a tax. Fact.

            Next thing the Metro (toll tax). Just today it was revealed the FBI and Dept of Trance dropped the ball on a whistleblower who back in 2016 was asked to falsify reports of bad cement. Meanwhile the FBI is running lead on a counter insurgency within the federal gov.

            How much more xoes this community have to bear iver Metro and trans woes?

          • OneReally

            Tolls Could Rise To Nearly $20 Each Way In The Next 30 Years. “Tolls on the Dulles Toll Road could climb from $2 to as much as $19.25 each way by 2040 to pay off the construction of the Dulles Rail extension, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday.” (Kytja Weir, “Dulles Tolls To Rise To Pay For Rail Construction,” Washington Examiner, 5/5/11)

            Kaine Has Taken $114,000 From Organized Labor In His 2012 Senate Run. (The Center For Responsive Politics, http://www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 2/22/12)

            The article is from 2012.

            https://www.americancrossroads.org/2012/02/whose-side-is-tim-kaine-on-big-labor-or-virginia-commuters-and-taxpayers/

          • Richard

            Exactly! Now, just as the Democratic candidates rebutted at that time, the actual tolls are expected to be much lower. Either the Republican candidates’ argument was baloney or the elected Democrats found a way to cut the predicted tolls in half.

          • OneReally

            IMHO once the the road was paid off anything else is too much.

            When we moved to Reston the tolls for main plaza were 50 and 25 cents on the exits. I remember thinking wow that’s expensive.

          • The Constitutionalist

            The tolls were actually expected to be between $14.75 and $19.25 by 2040, and only $6.75 to 10.75 by 2020. But you keep throwing out how Democrats are our saviors here when in 2011, the toll was only $2. We’re talking a 237% increase in 7 years. Not bad, for a Democrat. #SMH

            Hmm… so by historical data, if we take our current $4.75 toll and another 7 years *237%… $11.25 in 2025. Keeping with the trend, $26.68 in 2032, $63.23 in 2039….

            Seems outrageous, doesn’t it? But then if you look at the I-66 toll recently in 2018, it doesn’t seem so unlikely we may see something like that in 2040.

            Thank God for our Democrats though, right? Managing to only increase the rate by 271%, whew!

            Maybe you think compounding it every 7 years isn’t fair, that’s fine, let’s do it another way.

            More likely…

            Between 2011 and 2018, the price went up 237%, that’s fact. That comes out to an average of 33.8% a year, even though the price hike came all at once. There’s 29 years between 2011 and 2040, so by then, if not compounding like money does, we should see an increase, ceteris paribus, of 980.2% or 2*9.8, for a 2040 toll price of $19.64.

            Wow, those crazy Republicans. Man I tell you it’s all emotion and no logic coming from those fools. They would never use any sort of scientific method (because they hate science and science is evil, according to the Bible) to draw their conclusions, they just want to scare people into voting for them. Look no farther than the Republican Party for your fake news.

            Come on, Richard. Open your eyes ole’ chap.

            https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dulles-tolls-to-rise-to-pay-for-rail-construction

          • Conservative Senior

            The demoncrats have screwed up everything they touch & mismanage. Have another drink of kool aide. Better yet move to MD.

        • The Constitutionalist

          Yet we still have another 12 years to go to find out if they were correct.

          Look no farther than the Democrat Party to find the best ways to make people pay for what they don’t use.

    • Greg

      It’s 2018. You have many opportunities to raise tolls before then to reach the 2030 target.

      And we have had $45 tolls on I-66 inside the Beltway. One way; 10 miles.

      • Richard

        The Beltway is free.

        • I’d rather post as a guest

          Most peiple with stretched incomes have to make it to the beltway first. Therein lies the rub.

    • Mike M

      Dick, let me explain. Your logic could be used to support any tax. Democrat? So, tolls go up to $12, you can say, “Ha! They aren’t $18!” If they go to $20, you can say, “Ha! They didn’t go to $24. In fact, non-partisan sources have forecast they will go as high as $20 and then some. By extension, Dick, they could go to $100, and you could say, “Ha! They didn’t go to $150!” As for VOLUNTARY tolls, . . . when they are free one day for decades, then $45 the next day and thereafter, you have to ask yourself just how voluntary that really is for those who have adapted their lives and livelihood and living situations. Seems like you just want to justify higher taxes no matter what. Must be a Democrat?

      • Richard

        Like a Republican, it’s necessary for you to twist the truth to make your point.

        • Anonymous Person

          Facts don’t conform to your idea of reality. Reality conforms to facts. Deal with it captain personal attack.

        • The Constitutionalist

          Richard, how is it possible you can look literal facts right in the face and say, FAKE NEWS, FAKE NEWS, I didn’t get it from NPR, it’s FAKE NEWS!

        • Mike M

          Well, I am not a Republican, and your logic remains unhinged.

  • I’d rather post as a guest

    Just so you know, the history of this toll is a long and sad one: based on promises from lawmakers and officials alike the toll road was to open up for public access as soon as the road was paid for. My over the thumb calculation: the facility generates a cool million a day (low estimate) and that road has been paid over n-times. In addition, countless home owners had to give up their residences for the toll road to happen.
    I think as a community we have made great sacrifices!

    • 30yearsinreston

      It had paid for itself after 3 years
      The excuse for not lifting it then was that the extra HOV lane built needed to be financed

    • Richard

      The tolls are being used to fund the Metro expansion to Reston and Loudoun County.

      • I’d rather post as a guest

        So basically we’re getting double taxed because you know that the density around the metro stations will go off the charts and that translates into a windfall of tax revenues in some shape or form.

        • Richard

          How are you being double-taxed? In what way is added density a tax on you? On the contrary, you said it’s going to produce a tax windfall, presumably from the developers, new businesses and new residents.

          • I’d rather post as a guest

            I am just guessing but it seems like your ex was a republican and she skimmed you for the alimony like an ATM. Now you want every one else to pay double or triple.

            You dont have to respond if I am right but its your right to do so.

          • Richard

            That makes as much sense as your other comments.

          • Mike M

            Dick, I can explain. When you have to pay to use the road so that the Metro can be built, that’s one tax. Then when density increases and you need more services for more people like schools, emergency support, roads, etc, taxes go up again.

          • Richard

            On the contrary, Mike M. ‘Guest’ said that the added density was going to create a tax windfall. Density typically makes it more efficient to provide government services. Perhaps it will become too expensive to live here because of the increased cost of living that comes with living in a desired area, but at least your home value will have appreciated considerably by then.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Do you know what a windfall tax is? The sad folks living in the “TSA area” do. Because of the location their house is, before the Metro was built mind you, and in addition to the increased property tax on their increased property value, they are also required to pay an increased percentage to pay for an additional “service.”

            When you break it down, that’s not only a windfall tax, it’s a double tax.

          • Mike M

            Nope. Home values have not only not soared, they have dropped. Why is that? I know.

          • Why do you bother?

            Unless they don’t, because more density = more tax revenue from existing law.

          • Mike M

            More density = more liabilities. It NEVER pays its way. Care to refute that?

      • OneReally

        What will it fund after that?

        Interesting read for folks that get to use it for free.

        https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title33.2/chapter6/section33.2-613/

      • Greg

        Keep up.

        The toll-road tolls were to be eliminated once the toll road construction bonds were paid off. That was the bargain we made. There was no but, if, Metro, or otherwise included to keep the tolls and keep increasing them in perpetuity.

        • Richard

          Funny that you’re asking me to keep up when you’re like 40 years behind the times. The toll money is currently being used to help fund 48% of the Silver line. I guess the long-dead politicians kept their side of the deal. The toll money is no longer going toward the construction bonds for the toll road. http://dullesmetro.com/about-dulles-rail/funding/

          • Greg

            Dude – work on you reading comprehension. It’s really bad. And shameful.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Jesus Christ.

            Just like my 2nd Lt made me do, I guess we’re going to have to break this down Barney style. Read slowly. Sound out the words if you have to.

            Sing along with me…

            The requirement to pay money so people could travel on the black stuff that you drive on was to be eliminated once the black stuff that you drive on was paid for. If that happened, people could drive their metal boxes with the wheels on them for free on the black stuff that you drive on.

            But the big grey thing that carries other grey box looking things with places for people to sit doesn’t make enough money to pay for itself because everyone with more than half a brain (a tad bit more than you) hates it because it sucks.

            So instead, the mean men have decided to keep making people pay money to travel on the black stuff that you drive on so that way the big grey thing (the one with the other grey box looking things that look like they should carry people, but don’t) can still be built for a reason that no rational person can understand.

            Good people are mad about this because, when they were involved in the black stuff that you drive on project, they were told it would be free once it was paid for and instead are forced to pay for something they don’t even use and subsidies are only fun when you’re not the one paying for it.

            And to make the problem even worse, the amount of money they have to trade to drive on the black stuff is going up, because people who use the big silver thing aren’t trading their money to ride it anymore (because it sucks).

          • OneReally

            That’s good stuff!!!

            Just think they could have built separate lanes and implemented rapid bus about 7 years ago.

        • JoeInReston

          What do you think would be the best tax mechanism to pay for the Silver Line? (Coming out with a recommendation does not mean you necessarily approve of the idea of the Silver Line)

          • Greg

            Not bringing that which is not needed, especially at the six-billion-dollar cost, is the best way to avoid Robin Hood taxation. But I digress.

            Why does metro need tens of billions in tax support? Why is there at least a billion dollars of unfunded support transportation infrastructure just for the unneeded silver line? Why is the Wiehle parking garage such a design and use nightmare?

            Why was the concrete used on the silver line substandard? Not one, not ten, not hundreds, but thousands of concrete components? How much sooner will this concrete fail especially since it’s all exposed to the elements and salt used on the adjacent roadways? Was this same concrete used on the hideously elevated silver line in Tysons? Who’s being held responsible for the costs? The taxpayers and toll payers?

            Why are metro workers so incompetent yet so highly compensated? Why does metro keep breaking down? Despite hundreds of millions of dollars and massive down time spent on surges and maintenance?

            Those who use it should pay the vast majority of the costs of developing, operating, and maintaining it.

            No one subsidizes me to purchase my car, fuel it, oil it, clean it, have it inspected, get it smog checked, pay my ever-increasing tolls or personal property taxes, state tag it, county tag it, replace and balance the tires, license it, insure it, replace it, and train to use it.

            Why should motorists pay more to fund something that works poorly and they don’t use?

          • vdiv

            Let’s see… the Silver Line users perhaps?

          • Why do you bother?

            That only works if the system is good/reliable enough to make it an attractive alternative to driving. That is so much not the case – people are avoiding Metro in droves – that the DMV area is now having to commit to huge lump-sum contributions to keep it going.

          • Greg

            Not bringing that which is not needed, especially at the six-billion-dollar cost, is the best way to avoid Robin Hood taxation. But I digress.

            Why does metro need tens of billions in tax support? Why are there at least a billion dollars of unfunded support transportation infrastructure just for the unneeded silver line?

            Why is the Wiehle parking garage such a design and use nightmare?

          • Why do you bother?

            The answer to your first two questions: Because it sucks. Big time. The Silver line would be both needed and used if the entire experience didn’t suck.

            Can’t answer your third question, except “project designed by committee.”

          • Greg

            How much sooner will this concrete fail especially since it’s all exposed to the elements and highly corrosive salt and other chemicals abundantly and frequently used on the adjacent roadways?

            Was this same substandard concrete used on the hideously elevated silver line in Tysons?

            Will it collapse and cause mayhem and havoc?

            Who’s being held responsible for the costs? The taxpayers and toll payers?

          • Greg

            Why are metro workers so incompetent yet so highly compensated? Why does metro keep breaking down? Despite hundreds of millions of dollars and massive down time spent on surges and maintenance?

            Those who use it should pay the vast majority of the costs of developing, operating, and maintaining it.

            No one subsidizes me to purchase my car, finance it, fuel it, oil it, clean it, have it inspected, get it smog checked, pay my ever-increasing tolls or personal property taxes, state tag it, county tag it, replace and balance the tires, license it, insure it, replace it, and train to use it. But I have to support metro? With ever higher taxes and tolls?

            Why should motorists pay more to fund something that works poorly and they don’t use?

      • The Constitutionalist

        Yes, and likewise it makes perfect sense for someone using Amtrak to pay a fee to help cover Southwest Airline’s fuel costs.

        The Democrats, everyone!

  • 30yearsinreston

    The great cash cow continues to be milked
    Thanks Ken Plum and Hudgins/Bulova

    • Chkitout1

      Don’t forget Tim Kaine, he gave the toll road away to WMATA when he was governor. More taxes for Fairfax.

      • Greg

        Kaine gave the toll road to MWAA (airports authority), not WMATA (metro).

        • Chkitout1

          Excuse me, I confused WMATA with MWAA. Please tell me the difference between a tax increase and a toll increase.

          • Greg

            Beyond my pay grade.

            Go ask Hudgins, Plum, Kaine, the unions, and all the lemmings who supported their lunacy and lusted after bringing the metro (and, surprise!, rampant redevelopment) to Reston for the explanation.

            And, the audacity for WMAA and WMATA (take your pick) to toll or tax (take your pick) with impunity for a dysfunctional rail system.

          • Why do you bother?

            The only difference in this case is that one can not use the toll road, avoiding the toll.

  • JoeInReston

    Though technically its a toll, I view it as a tax. The county (or is it state?) is collecting taxes to pay for the Metro expansion out to Fairfax County and beyond.

    Since the path of the Metro Silver Line generally follows the path of the toll road, at least up to Tyson’s, the toll tax generally hits the subsection of households that benefit from the Silver Line. It would be absurd to collect tolls only on Manassas residents to pay for the Silver Line expansion that benefits north/west Fairfax County residents. Its an imperfect proxy obviously. A household could live right next to the Silver Line and never have a need to use it.

    Following this same logic, or my perception of the county’s logic, the powers that be should consider applying the toll hikes to the Dulles Greenway. The subsection of house holds that benefit most from the Silver Line expansion to Loudoun are Loudounites. They should bear the most burden, and the Dulles Greenway toll booths pinpoint that subsection far better than the Dulles Toll toll booths

    • Why do you bother?

      It is absolutely a tax. And while my usual reply is to say “they’ll get it somehow; at least we have a choice to not use the road,” it is a tax that can be increased at the whim of a few individuals with no input from citizens. No bueno.

      • vdiv

        That’s a false choice, the toll road is the only major expressway artery connecting Reston to anything. There are other costs taking the side streets including your time, wear and tear on your vehicle, higher accident risk, etc.

        • Why do you bother?

          That’s what makes it not a false choice – it’s more like Sophie’s choice, but it’s still a choice.

      • The Constitutionalist

        I never thought I’d hear you say something like that. I’m speechless for once.

        • Why do you bother?

          A dream come true!

  • Greg

    That’s an optimist’s headline. Tolls may increase. Just like Reston development may increase.

  • EliteinReston
  • Chuck Morningwood

    I am so glad that I gave up my job in DC for a job in Reston. No toll, and my door-to-door commute takes far less time, even by bicycle.

    • The Constitutionalist

      People don’t ride bicycles here. They only get hit by vans in this horribly unfriendly biking community where no one yields to the superior form of transportation.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        Bicycles are less of an existential threat to cars than the reverse. For a useful critique of superiority (or, at least, priority) you should refer to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

        • The Constitutionalist

          Ah, my motivational pyramid looks a little different than Maslow’s. But it’s structured about the same, bottom most important, top the least important.

          Mine looks something like this:
          ————————-Petting Dogs———————
          ————————Making money——————–
          ———————-Hating on cyclists——————-
          —————Hurting Democrat’s feelings————-
          —–Taking Willie Reston’s mother out on dates—-

          • OneReally

            Can you return her socks for me?

          • The Constitutionalist

            The non slip ones?

          • OneReally

            HEHE. You know it!!

    • Why do you bother?

      I am trying desperately to do the same.

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