Stabilize the Cost to Drive on the Dulles Greenway
The timely provision of safe, convenient, and efficient transportation infrastructure enhances the quality of communities, supports property values, and mitigates the effects of traffic congestion that accompany growth.
DAAR supports improving mobility in Loudoun County communities so that all citizens have access to transportation means best suited to their needs. DAAR is committed to advocating for relief from rising toll costs on the Dulles Greenway for Loudoun County homeowners and residents. On the state level, DAAR’s involvement in this issue is dependent on the official positions on legislative matters set forth by VAR and/or VAR’s Public Policy Committee.
DAAR supports improving mobility in communities so that all citizens have access to transportation means best suited to their needs. DAAR is committed to advocating for providing relief from rising tolls.
For thousands of residents, employees, and business owners who use the 14-mile private Dulles Greenway in Loudoun County as a daily commuter route, the cost of using the road has grown astronomically. With the February 2019 toll rate increase, drivers who use the Dulles Greenway 50 weeks-per-year may pay $3,650 annually for their weekday rush-hour round trip.
In 2020, DAAR surveyed its 1,400+ membership. Among the responses received, it was found that the average DAAR member can spend anywhere between $50-$400 per month on toll costs on the roadway.
The Dulles Greenway was one of the first highways of its kind in the United States and is the first private road in Virginia since 1816. It was built under the Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 1988 and opened in 1995. By law, the owner of the road, Toll Road Investors Partnership II, L.P. (TRIP II), is permitted to submit requests to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to approve toll rate increases on the Dulles Greenway.
Since then, numerous efforts have been initiated over the years to provide relief for Northern Virginia drivers from these automatic annual Dulles Greenway toll rate increases. In recent years, during the 2019 Virginia General Assembly Session, two bills (introduced by Senator Stanley and Delegate LaRock) would have amended the powers of the SCC to regulate toll operators of the Dulles Greenway. They were defeated in their respective committees. Two other bills, introduced by Senator Favola and then-Delegate Bell, would have directed the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to evaluate potential opportunities for increased efficiency through combined operations of the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles Greenway. They were also unsuccessful.
However, in 2021, HB 1832, introduced by Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D-87), and SB 1259, introduced by Sen. John Bell (D-13) passed in both chambers of Virginia’s legislature and was signed into law by Governor Northam. The legislation entitled, “The Virginia Highway Corporation Act,” (also dubbed, “the Greenway Bill”) will implement a series of measurement standards to regulate the toll costs. One of these standards is to assess whether the proposed toll increases will discourage commuters from using the road. Another provision would prohibit all proposed toll increases that extend beyond 1 year.
Currently, the owners of the Dulles Greenway have requested five additional years of fare increases through 2025. According to the bill, the State Corporation Commission will be prohibited from authorizing any proposed increases should they fail to meet the new criteria.
SB1133 and HB2667 – Distance-based pricing.
SJ254 – Study feasibility of purchasing the Greenway.
SB1654 – Amend the powers and responsibilities of the SCC.
HB 1832 – The “Greenway Bill,” or, The Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 2021.
DAAR’s latest advocacy update on the passage of the 2021 Greenway Bill.
- Under the guidance of VAR, continue to advocate for relief from any rising toll costs on the Dulles Greenway by supporting VAR-backed legislative measures.
- Continue to monitor proposed regulatory and policy changes regarding the Dulles Greenway and pinpoint additional areas of needed regulation/change where needed.