Sen. Richard Black (R-27) and Del. Dave LaRock (R-33) yesterday introduced a bill aimed at reducing the toll impact of the new I-66 Inside The Beltway project, convert the Dulles Access Road to commuter HOT lanes, and end collections on the Dulles Toll Road in 13 years.
Both Loudoun legislators are critical of expanded use of tolls in Northern Virginia.
“Northern Virginia was already one of the highest-tolled regions in America— now, commuters driving the 36 miles from Leesburg to Washington, DC during peak times travel on three distinct toll roads, paying as much as $53 one-way,” LaRock said in a prepared statement announcing the bill. “My constituents call this ‘Highway Robbery,’ and I agree. Tolls this high hurt families, hinder economic growth, and are just unacceptable.”
“It’s ironic that the I-66 tolling equipment failed so spectacularly and so quickly. People entering the toll road did so without knowing that the trip would cost $39. These tolls are among the highest in the nation. The new tolling system is not off to a good start,” Black stated.
Specifically, HB 1489 seeks to:
- return the I-66 ITB tolling period to previous HOV hours (Eastbound 6:30–9:00 a.m., Westbound 4:00–6:30 p.m.) until I-66 ITB Eastbound widening project opens in 2020;
- impose tolling of reverse commuters on I-66 ITB with revenues to go into the I-66 Commuter Choice program;
- refund I-66 ITB tolls exceeding $200/month until new I-66 ITB Eastbound lane opens;
- instruct VDOT to form and execute a plan to convert the Dulles Access Road into tolled HOT lanes, with revenue going to buy down tolls on the Dulles Toll Road; and
- directing that Dulles Toll Road become toll-free by 2030.
The bill has not yet been assigned for committee review.