News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Keep Clapping! (And pay $9.60)

Now that the federal gubmint has all but pulled the plug on Metro's awesome Silver Line because it's inefficient or not sufficiently underground to meet ADA requirements for golems or too likely to catch on fire like the rest of Metro's underfunded, underserviced transit system or whatever, the market has spoken.

Private equity investors are drawing up proposals to partner with Virginia for a rail line to Dulles International Airport as hope fades that the federal government will help fund the 23-mile Metrorail extension.

Robert W. Dove, co-head of the Carlyle Infrastructure Fund, said yesterday that his company is looking at the possibility of investing in a Dulles rail. Carlyle has not contacted Virginia officials but is reviewing the idea internally, Dove said.

Giving tolling power to a private company is of deep concern to some politicians, who worry that rates would rise unacceptably in private hands.
Why think that? It's not like another big infrastructure company with ties to the Bush administration and happens to own the Dulles Greenway recently announced plans to raise tolls to as high as $9.80. And with money to be made for cronies savvy investors, we don't see any reason why the Bush-appointed FTA heads would try to kill public funding for this project.

No, nothing to see here. Move on, please. But now, the really good news about the private Carlyle-branded Silver Line, straight from Dove:
"Metro would run it, but someone would make a payment to us for making it available every day," he said.
Great. The best of both worlds.

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