The July 13 Metro article “Silver Line exacts a toll on drivers” missed a big part of the story: The commonwealth of Virginia is paying just 10 percent of the $5.7 billion price tag for this project. Northern Virginians through their tolls and local taxes are paying 70 percent. Compare this with your typical major highway project, where state and federal governments pay the full cost.
Transit has been essential to keeping Northern Virginia moving, and it has generated billions of dollars in economic activity for the state in transit-oriented corridors in Arlington, Alexandria and Tysons. In fact, 84 percent of office development in the pipeline in the D.C. region is being built within a quarter-mile of a Metro station, and developers can’t build transit-accessible, multifamily housing fast enough to keep up with demand. Recognizing the value of mass transit, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) recently committed an additional $65 million to the Fairfax-Arlington streetcar project and funding for light rail in Virginia Beach.
Additional state transportation funds for the Silver Line would reduce the share shouldered by Dulles Toll Road users. It’s not only the fair thing to do, it’s a smart economic investment benefiting commuters, air travelers, businesses and the state.
To read original letter, please click here.