What the future holds for D.C. transit – more tolls, fewer cars on roads

The MoveDC plan calls for toll lanes at major roads that lead into D.C. What do you think about that? Would you pay up? Change your route? Or not drive into D.C. as often? Post a comment in this story, comment on WTOP’s Facebook Page or use #WTOP on Twitter.

WASHINGTON — More people and more jobs are coming to D.C. and the city’s infrastructure needs some work — $54 billion worth. The D.C. Department of Transportation has a vision for the future of the nation’s capital and has released a draft of an extensive plan to widen the area’s transit network by 2040.

MoveDC includes improvements to bus service, investments in Metro, a 22-mile streetcar system and water taxis on the Potomac. It aims to lower the number of cars on streets by giving bicyclists more options and adding toll lanes for drivers heading into the city with a goal of shortening commutes.

The Washington Post reports tolls would be based on cordon area congestion pricing, in which drivers would be charged for downtown access at major entry points. The potential roads that could see tolls:

  • Interstate 395 as it crosses the 14th Street Bridge
  • Interstate 66 from the West
  • Interstate 295 from the South
  • New York Avenue from the East
  • Canal Road from the North.

DDOT’s Sam Zimbabwe says the transportation system will choke if the region continues to grow and does not address vehicular traffic. He says there will be severe problems if nothing is done.

MoveDC reports 170,000 more people are expected to be living in the District by 2040 which is a 28 percent population increase. Further, 200,000 more people are expected to be working in the District by 2040 translating to a 40 percent increase in jobs. MoveDC says expanding transportation choices and improving the reliability of all modes is needed to achieve the vision of a city that is more “livable, sustainable, prosperous and attractive.”

There is a comment period for the proposed changes. Until July 6, anyone can fill out this survey to offer their responses on specifics aspects of the plans.

Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on the WTOP Facebook page.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up