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Kaine examines Silver Line progress, touts project’s importance

Times-Mirror File Photo/Trevor Baratko
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Tuesday toured the second phase of Metro's Silver Line extension, including a quick stop in Loudoun County and the Dulles International Airport.

The nearly $3 billion second phase of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project will extend track through Reston to the Dulles airport and into Ashburn.

Kaine, a major proponent of the Silver Line project both as senator and governor, said so-called “Rail to Dulles” was the “single hardest project” he's ever worked on in public life. He said he made securing $900 million in federal funding for phase one a top transportation priority during his time in Richmond.

“From working on getting phase one from the drawing board to the groundbreaking as governor, and now seeing the progress being made on phase two, this is exciting," Kaine, this year's Democratic nominee for vice president, said in a prepared statement. "It is such a necessary project to keep up with the growth of Northern Virginia, and especially to serve Dulles International Airport, which is one of the two key hubs for Virginia’s national economic reach.”

While the Silver Line project has been hailed by the region's business community, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has been maligned by critics in recent years. Metro has overseen several severe accidents this decade, including one that claimed a rider's life in 2015, and the system has consistently racked up millions in debt for both capital and operational costs.

Kaine was joined on the Silver Line tour by Paul Wiedefeld, Metro's general manager who took over the beleaguered system in 2015. Weidefeld has received mostly strong reviews from federal lawmakers thus far for his apparent recognition of the system's systemic financial challengers problems and safety issues.

The Silver Line extension into Loudoun County is being managed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Dulles and Reagan airports. The second phase is slated for completion around 2020.


The Silver Line will bring folks from around the region cheaply to Dulles.  It will take discretionary spending money out of Loudoun to Tysons and Downtown, and possibly give a few folks out here a cheap ride to work when it isn’t broken.  What it won’t do is bring any money out here—no one is getting on Metro from Bethesda or Dupont Circle to come out here to take a shuttle bus from the Ashburn Station to downtown Leesburg.  This whole thing was largely a con sold by developers who scooped up the land along the projected route years ago.  Local residents who used to spend their money in the community will now take it elsewhere with more ease, and a ton of new development will rise up along the route that is over-populated with townhouses and under used as commercial space.

We were had.

President Hillary.  I can laugh louder.  Bah-ha-ha-ha-ha! 

Now, on topic.  This just in over the weekend.  WMATA says they need all jurisdictions to increase their Metro funding by another 30%.  Part of their rationale was that so many people stopped using Metro that their ticket sales have plummeted.

Metro is the financial gift that just keeps getting better and better.

Super Donald?  I can only laugh.

The silver line is/was a terrible idea.  They could of just expanded bus service, using the existing airport road, and where there are metrostops now, they could of been bus stops.  Then, they could ramp up/down buses based on demand.  It will probably take almost 2 hours to get to DC from the last stop on Silver Line.

When he says important for whom is he speaking. The taxpayer who foots the bill or the business that pays the taxes so politicians can say how important their spending project is.

Metro is doomed.  Now they say they need $25B.  Good luck finding that.  Metro is also threatening to cut the Silver Line to save money, which actually makes sense.  Have fun with your empty stations.

A couple of days the Red Line train uncouples.  Metro puts our notice saying everyone is OK and there were “fewer that 40” passengers.  So, during rush hour they have a train with fewer than 40 people on it?  That is not good.  Ridership down double digits this year (again).

Sooner or later the game of musical chairs is going to stop, and I am guessing that day is rapidly approaching.

Ironically, there is only 1 thing that can save Metro.  That one thing is Super Donald.  If Mr. Trump makes Metro a priority, they have a chance.  Absent that, it will be bankruptcy in 3 years.

Over budget and behind schedule.  Where’s the critical thinking by the LTM staff?

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