Loudoun County residents and business owners are being asked to comment on the Dulles Greenway’s proposed rate hike, with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) set to hold a remote public hearing on June 30 at 10 a.m.
Toll Road Investors Partnership II, or TRIP II, the Australia-based company that owns the Greenway, is seeking a 6 to 6.8 percent toll rate increase each year over the next five years. In April, Loudoun County announced its opposition to the proposed rate hike.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SCC is conducting the public hearing remotely. People who wish to comment are being provided up to five minutes to speak by telephone. In order to speak, residents are asked to do the following:
• Fill out a form on the commission’s website at scc.virginia.gov/. The case number is PUR-2019-00218;
• Send an email to SCCInfo@scc.virginia.gov; or
• Call 804-371-9141 during standard business hours.
The deadline to provide contact information to the SCC is 5 p.m. on June 26.
More information about the proposed rate hike, including links to documents associated with the case, can be found on the SCC’s website. Refer to Case No. PUR-2019-00218.
State Dels. Suhas Subramanyam (D-87th) and Wendy Gooditis (D-10th) said in a joint statement they are urging the SCC to reject TRIP II’s request to increase the tolls during peak times. The lawmakers said the increase would adversely impact alternate roads in northern Virginia and hurt families and businesses during the ongoing health and economic crises.
Gooditis and Subramanyam said if the request is approved, peak rates would be $7.90 in 2025, an increase of roughly 30 percent from current toll rates. The two said commuters have been discouraged from traveling the Greenway due to the high tolls. This, they said, forces a greater burden on alternate routes.
“TRIP II’s high rates already discourage travel on the toll road, and an increase would only exacerbate this effect,” the delegates said in a prepared statement. “While the population of northern Virginia has steadily increased, the traffic on the Dulles Greenway toll road has steadily decreased due to the high toll cost. Commuters have determined that any benefits offered by the Greenway are not worth the high tolls. Furthermore, TRIP II’s proposed rate increase is based on projections that do not take into account changes in commuter habits due to COVID-19.”
TRIP II, in its application, states, “These proposed tolls will allow TRIP II to continue to provide a safer, more efficient and well-maintained alternative travel route for drivers ... the maximum authorized tolls will allow TRIP II to undertake major capital improvement projects to further improve the Greenway and adjoining public roads which will, among other things: reduce congestion in the surrounding road network, improve the travel time and experience for TRIP II customers and ensure TRIP II remains in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement.”
The date by which any person or entity may file written comments on the application was extended to Aug. 24 due to the pandemic.