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Posted on: January 4, 2024

County Encourages Public Participation in Jan. 9 Hearing on Proposed Greenway Toll Increases

Graphic with text about public hearing on Greenway toll hike proposal

Loudoun County officials encourage residents and businesses who wish to offer comment on the Dulles Greenway’s proposed rate hike to attend the State Corporation Commission (SCC) public hearing, Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. at Freedom High School, 25450 Riding Center Drive in South Riding.

Toll Road Investors Partnership II, LP (“TRIP II”), the company that owns the Greenway, is asking the SCC to approve a request (Case # PUR-2023-00089) to increase the maximum tolls for most drivers to $8.10 during peak hours, up from the current $5.80; and to $6.40 during off-peak hours, up from $5.25. The SCC is the state agency that considers such requests. 

Loudoun County opposes (PDF) the proposed toll increases on the Greenway. In September 2023, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to file a “notice of participation” (PDF) with the SCC, which ensures that Loudoun will have access to all information provided to the SCC as it considers the application for a 40% increase in the maximum toll for passenger vehicles on the Greenway. It also allows the county to provide the SCC with testimony and analysis independent of that offered by the owner of the toll road.

Opportunities for Public Comment

The SCC asks that any member of the public who wishes to provide comment at the January 9 hearing in South Riding arrive at 5:45 p.m. and register to speak. Each speaker will be allotted five minutes for their comments. Details about the hearing are in the SCC’s January 2, 2024, news release.

Members of the public also may submit written comments online at any time through January 24, 2024. Written comments regarding the Greenway’s request for increased toll rates can be provided through the SCC’s online form

Written comments can also be submitted by U.S. mail to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. All comments must refer to case number PUR-2023-00089. 

More information about the proposed rate hike, including links to documents associated with the case, may be found on the SCC’s website

Background

Loudoun County opposes the toll rate increases requested by TRIP II. TRIP II argues that the proposed toll rate increases are necessary to meet its debt obligation; however, data show that use of the Greenway is down because of its already high toll rates. Traffic on the Greenway decreased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and has not returned to pre-COVID levels.

To promote use of the Greenway by more motorists, Loudoun County has consistently supported changing the Greenway’s toll structure to distance-based tolling that would result in lower tolls for some users. The Greenway operator has the lawful ability to implement both changes now.

Virginia law enacted in 2021 provides objective criteria for evaluating toll increase proposals, including a requirement that proposed Greenway toll rates are “reasonable” to users in relation to the benefit they are deriving from using the road so that the rates do not “materially discourage” use of the road. Loudoun County believes TRIP II’s proposed rates will further discourage the use of the Greenway. The SCC uses the objective criteria to evaluate toll rate increase proposals and Loudoun County supports the SCC review process.

In addition, Loudoun County has opposed any legislation that would potentially permit automatic toll rate increases each year of an unknown amount and an extension of the Greenway’s operator’s license for an unlimited period of time, which is not good for Loudoun residents. The county’s opposition to automatic toll rate increase legislation and continued support of the SCC review process is intended to protect Loudoun residents who may choose to use the Greenway from arbitrary toll rate increases. Legislation supported by TRIP II pertaining to this matter was previously defeated by the Virginia State Senate twice on bipartisan votes.

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Posted on: February 9, 2024 | Last Modified on: February 26, 2019