Some sweet aerial shots of partially constructed Silver Line tracks from the Action McNews Team Chopper can mean only one thing: Exciting play by play coverage of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood taking Fairfax and Loudoun county leaders, the airport authority and Virginia officials into the woodshed to try to save Phase 2 of the Metro Silver Line extension!
Was there a complex discussion of funding formulas, the economic imperative driving the project, and the fact that Toll Road drivers will have to start bringing sockfuls of quarters with them just to get to Tysons? Haha, no, it was all about trying to get Loudoun County to commit to its $200 million share of the project, which is being held up by anti-union rhetoric -- which is exactly what a county's board of supervisors gets elected to worry about.
As our BFFs at Reston2020 point out:
What was apparently not a topic is the 75% burden for Phase 2 construction costs that will be absorbed by Dulles Toll Road users in the current "funding partners" agreement, the most inequitable and unfair aspect of the current spending plan. That puts $17 billion in rail financing and toll road O&M costs over four decades (& probably longer) on the 100K-200K users of the toll road, and especially those who use the toll road to commute. That multi-billion dollar estimate apparently does not include needed capital investments (such as electronic tolling).Nothing to see here, kids -- move along. But keep clapping while you do!
With tolls set to double next year and triple within six years according to MWAA's estimates (others put the numbers higher), the agreement among MWAA, Loudoun, & Fairfax is not only unfair and inequitable, it is likely to stifle the very economic growth that Metrorail is supposed to stimulate.