The Virginia General Assembly is considering a bill that would make the Dulles Greenway’s operators prove that future toll rates are reasonable, and won’t discourage use of a 14-mile roadway linking Leesburg and Dulles International Airport.
House Bill 1832, co-authored by Del. Suhas Subramanyam, as well as Sen. John Bell, who will introduce a companion bill, Monday, said they believe there is bipartisan support for an attempt to codify boxes that must be checked before private Greenway operator TRIP II can raise toll rates. Both represent parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties.
The current non-rush hour toll is $4.75, and $5.80 during rush hours. TRIP II is seeking to increase toll rates by more than 30% over a five-year period.
The new bill is supported by a Loudoun County delegation including Del. David Reid, former delegate David Ramadan, as well as Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall and Supervisor Matt Letourneau.
If approved, any applicant for a toll increase would need to run the changes by the Virginia Department of Transportation, and show that “the proposed rates will be reasonable to the user in relative benefit obtained, not likely to materially discourage use of the roadway, and provide the operator no more than a reasonable return.”
“VDOT is not involved at all right now,” Bell told WTOP. “Given this is a thoroughfare, and moves people through this very important corridor, it’s important.”
Regulated by the State Corporation Commission, Bell said the new bill would provide extra accountability.
“In the past, we really didn’t have the ability to put down what ‘materially discourage’ would mean,” Bell said. “With the growth of Loudoun County, this is a main artery — many people don’t have a choice.”
In a statement to WTOP, company CEO Renee Hamilton said:
TRIP II, the local operator of the Dulles Greenway, looks forward to continuing our successful work with the Virginia General Assembly as it begins its 2021 legislative session. Specifically, we are eager to address legislation recently introduced by members of the Loudoun County delegation and hope to achieve an equitable plan regarding the state’s ongoing regulation and oversight of the Dulles Greenway.