News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well hello, Mr. Positive!

Congressman Jim Moran has weighed in on the delicate political calculus holding the fate of Metro's awesome Silver Line in the balance.

"We're not going to get the $900 million in federal funding from this administration," Moran tells WTOP.

Moran blasted the current group at the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation Tuesday, saying they are in "no mood" to say yes to the proposed 23-mile Metrorail extension.

"No matter how valiant Gov. (Tim) Kaine's efforts are, I think they are going to bounce off tin ears. I think (the administration) has made a decision probably for both political as well as budgetary reasons to reject this," says Moran.
Thanks, Mr. Sunshine! We can't see any political gain that would come from killing public funding for the Metro, so we'll just keep clapping. And besides, if the feds don't pony up the $900 million to scatter approximately 323,000 orange cones topped with flashing yellow lights throughout the Tysons Tegucigalpa area, Kaine has, as they say in the movies, a plan. Just hike tolls on the Toll Road!
Kaine continued his drumbeat that federal partnership is crucial to the success of the proposed rail line. But he appeared to be trying something new: getting commuters to put pressure on the Federal Transit Administration.

"What the federal share enables us to do is to build this and keep the tolls at a manageable level, which is appropriate for the hundreds of thousands who use this as a commuter route," Kaine said on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program. "If you take the federal money out, my worry is that the tolls would be exorbitant."

Charges on the Dulles Toll Road have risen to 75 cents at the main plaza and 50 cents at the exits, and they are scheduled to rise further under a plan to finance the rail line. The toll road is operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is also managing the rail project. Part of the authority's agreement with Virginia is to pay for much of the rail line with toll increases.

Kaine said that tolls could go still higher if the federal government declines to grant $900 million for the $5 billion project.
Sounds like a lot of quarters.

1 comment:

  1. $900 million comes to 3.6 billion quarters.

    I think I'm going to have to break open my piggybank.


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