Va. AG Miyares to formally object to proposed Dulles Greenway toll hike

Overhead view of the Dulles Greenway toll road in Northern Virginia. (Courtesy Dulles Greenway)
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares came out against a proposed toll increase on the Dulles Greenway on Friday, telling WTOP his office would formally object to it by providing testimony to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), a state regulatory agency that will ultimately decide whether or not the proposed increase will be approved.

“It’s getting harder and harder for everyday Virginians to earn a living,” Miyares said. “It concerns me greatly.”

He said his office would “be arguing in front of the SCC to oppose the toll increase and not to balance this on the back of commuters.”

According to Miyares, the SCC is expected to consider the matter in January.

“Wherever possible, if we can side with consumers and commuters, then we are going to side with them,” he said.

The Dulles Greenway is a privately owned, 14-mile toll road that connects Dulles International Airport with Leesburg, Virginia.

Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II), the company that owns the highway, is asking for higher toll rates in order to reduce debt that has gone up over time as fewer people have utilized the road.

Currently, Virginians pay $5.80 during peak traffic hours and $5.25 during off-peak hours for a standard, 2-axle vehicle.

Under the proposed increase, tolls would move to $8.10 during peak traffic hours and $6.40 during off-peak hours.

“We’re going to be the voice of consumers,” Miyares said. “That’s a role that we take seriously.”

He added that “the number one reason why people move out of Virginia is cost of living.”

In its application, filed in July, TRIP II said its current liabilities total more than $1.1 billion — far greater than the $311 million in debt that funded construction of the Greenway.

Renée Hamilton, chief executive officer for the Dulles Greenway, said “filing this application was not our first choice.”

As the state’s sole fully private roadway, TRIP II said it incurs expenses that are not incurred by public roadways.

It pays property taxes to Loudoun County, fees to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and nearly $750,000 yearly to Virginia State Police to provide law enforcement response and patrols.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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