Massive transportation plan to have little impact on tolls

Hank Silverberg,

RICHMOND, Va. – The massive transportation package approved by Virginia’s General Assembly will provide almost $1 billion per year in new money for roads and rail, but in the long term it will have very little impact on tolls.

The deal did ban tolls on Interstate 95, south of the proposed Express Lanes.

It also included $300 million for the second phase of the Dulles Rail extension project that will reduce increases on the Dulles Toll Road in the immediate future by about 50 cents.

But the biggest toll of them all on the privately owned Dulles Greenway will not be affected.

An investigation of the Greenway tolls by the State Corporation Commission is still scheduled, though Delegate David Ramadan says holding it in Purcellville was a bad start, since it is nowhere near the Greenway.

“I don’t believe it was anything more than a lack of geographical knowledge of the area,” says Ramadan. “At least, I hope that was the case.”

Ramadan says they are working on a hearing site in the Dulles area.

The transportation package will also have no impact on the current I-495 Express Lanes tolls or on a similar project now under construction on I-95/I-395.

The SCC approved a 10-cent toll hike for the Dulles Greenway earlier this year, bringing the base toll for cars up to $4.90 during peak travel times.

Ramadan says he would like to see tolls that are based on distance, not a single flat toll regardless of how far a person travels.

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