Commuters on the Dulles Greenway are paying more for their congestion-free, cross-county trips.
With little fanfare, new rate hikes went into effect March 2, one day after the State Corporation Committee signed off on the General Assembly-mandated annual increases for the privately-owned highway.
Fares collected at the highway’s main toll plaza near Rt. 28 increased 15 cents for a one-way trip, to $4.40, plus $1 collected for travel on the Dulles Toll Road. During rush hours, the toll also increased by 15 cents, to $5.50 plus the $1 DTR collection.
In December, the Greenway’s owner, Toll Road Investors Partnership II, applied to the SCC for 3.04 percent toll hike, calculated to reflect the increase in the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent. The SCC also approved an additional 2.13-cent increase to offset a portion of the 14 percent increase the company paid in local real estate taxes to Loudoun County and Leesburg.
Both increases are specifically authorized in the Virginia State Code, which mandates annual rate hikes through 2020 and allows the SCC to consider real estate tax offsets.
The latest toll hike came a week after the one of the highway’s investor groups initiated plans to buy out its funding partner. Macquarie Atlas Roads, based in New South Wales, Australia, announced Feb. 23 that it would exercise its right to acquire the remaining 50 percent economic interest in the Greenway from the Macquarie Infrastructure Group for $445 million. The company reported that increasing traffic on the highway boosted revenues to $92 million in 2016, with profits up 8.8 percent.
TRIP II is slated to operate the highway, which opened in 1995, until 2056. It will then convey to the state government.