Monday, July 14, 2014

No Toll Increase Supporters interviewed for Washington Post Article about Rising Tolls

Tysons Corner is home to four of the five stations 
built for the first phase of the Silver Line. 
(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Mary Pat Flaherty of the Washington Post contacted Delegate Dave LaRock's office last week, looking to interview folks from NoTollincrease for an article she was writing. There are some great quotes from NoTollincrease supporters and other good information in the article:
Dulles Toll Road users are shouldering nearly half of the costs of Metro’s soon-to-open Silver Line, a far bigger share than originally predicted.
Those drivers also face the biggest exposure for any additional cost overruns or delays on the rail line set to open July 26 — seven months late and $150 million over budget.
Commuters are vulnerable because tolls are the one share of the Silver Line project’s funding formula that is not capped at a fixed dollar amount or percentage of the final tab.
Since construction began five years ago, there have been five toll increases that spiked a common round trip from $2.50 to $7 or, viewed as a monthly tab for typical weekday commuters, from $50 to $140.
The impact of the line’s rising costs has been painfully apparent to drivers who use the road regularly.... 
Quote from No Toll Increase Petition Signer John Fringer:
The line “squeezes money out of us who are forced to use the toll road to pay for the cursed Metro,” said Fringer, 61, who pays $140 a month on round trips between Reston and his environmental engineering job in Rockville. His frustration is compounded, he says, by elected officials who “always get self-righteous about how the Silver Line is needed when you protest the tolls. It’s truly maddening.” 
Another comment from a No Toll Increase supporter:
But some commuters are skeptical.
“Tolls are a real cash cow,” said Erik Thompson, 41, who stopped using the toll road about 18 months ago when his tolls hit $70 a month for his commute between Waldorf, Md., and his job as a recruiting manager in Reston.
“I can see the Silver Line from my office, but to use it, I’d have to go end-to-end on Metro and take about two hours. I’m not doing that,” Thompson said. 

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