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Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Position on Proposed Dulles Toll Road Increases
9/10/2012
ArticleTypePress Release

While the 600+ businesses of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) understand that tolls on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) will need to increase to pay for the debt service created by the extension of Metrorail in the Corridor, we do not want the project to rely on tolls alone and we strongly advocate that the toll increase should be phased in as much as possible to minimize the impact on the toll users.

The Chamber continues to believe that all stakeholders - the Airports Authority, the counties and the Commonwealth, employers and landowners - can and should work together to insure those toll increases do not undermine the projected transportation and economic benefits.

The Chamber re-affirms its support for extension of Metrorail from East Falls Church into Loudoun County. The extension of transit into the Corridor will provide both economic and transportation benefits to employees and visitors to our region.

It is important for current and future businesses in the Corridor to have some certainty about the toll rates and the transportation improvements that will be made to allow ease of travel and the most efficient use of the toll road and metro system once it is in place.

We would like to share the following specific comments about the advertised toll rates:

  • We prefer greater toll increases at the main toll plaza than at the ramps so that drivers will be encouraged to use the DTR with in the Corridor for those short trips where transit is not an option.
  • We support use of All Electronic Tolling (AET) technology to:
    • Minimize congestion at main plaza and ramps;
    • Allow for more efficient toll collection; and
    • Allow congestion management tools such as peak and non-peak pricing.
  • Urge consideration of imposing tolls on the Dulles Airport Access Road so that all travelers in the corridor contribute to the transit improvements.
  • Urge consideration of tolling the ramp from the Dulles Connector Road at Route 123 in order to capture a population coming into the corridor that is not already participating in the financing plan

While we have to operate under the current financing plan adopted by stakeholders many years ago, MWAA and the multiple stakeholders should continue to seek additional funding:

  • The Reston/Dulles business community stands ready to work with the Airports to seek alternative sources of funding to help keep the toll increases as low as possible.
  • The Reston/Dulles business community will assist the Authority to secure additional financial help outside toll revenues to complete the project including additional Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) funds and additional contributions by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We ask that all stakeholders come together to identify, prioritize and fund the necessary road improvements that will improve the community’s connections to stations along the corridor and help maximize use of the transit system including the five projected Toll Road crossings between the Hunter Mill and Route 28 stations. MWAA needs to be partners with the Community to help with the overall transportation systems around the stations.

The impact of the Dulles Toll Road on the Reston/Dulles Corridor business community will be positive and rewarding if MWAA and the funding partners work together to minimize the toll cost, phase them in over time, and work together to find additional alternative funding for the project.

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