|TPB Reacts to Regional Toll Study
Washington, DC – The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) today received a briefing on highway tolls proposed by the Regional Value Pricing Study. The TPB also had an opportunity to comment on the study, which evaluates alternative scenarios for a regional network of variably-priced lanes combined with extensive express bus services. The study was funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
This toll study analyzes the potential impacts of several different scenarios for building new highway toll lanes, adding tolls to existing highways, and enhancing bus services. Toll rates in the study range from 20 cents per mile to four dollars per mile, depending on the scenario, and always include adding express bus service.
Arlington County Board Member Chris Zimmerman, Chairman of the TPB Value Pricing Task Force that created the report, reminded the TPB that the toll study “is not a proposal, it’s a ‘what if’ study that provides very interesting insight into the implications of tolling on our region.” The study, which concludes tolling would increase transit use regardless of the scenario, also investigates the impacts of the scenarios on land-use and population groups. This study builds on and includes three major variably-priced highway facilities that the TPB already has included in the region’s Long Range Transportation Plan: the Inter-County Connector, the Northern Virginia Capital Beltway HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes project, and the I-95/395 HOT lanes project.
Loudoun County Supervisor Lori Waters said she is concerned about the negative impact tolling will have on drivers on other routes who are impacted by the drivers who will avoid the new toll lanes. “The Loudoun County greenway, which charges drivers approximately five dollars to travel a few miles, has not been embraced by the public. Instead of using the greenway, many drivers use neighborhood streets.”
City of Falls Church Council Member David Snyder summarized views expressed by several members of the TPB, “The key factor here is the availability of alternatives. If we impose tolls, we should provide alternative options. The follow up to this [study] should focus on how we provide every single person in the region with an affordable and realistic alternative.”
The TPB is the regional transportation planning organization for the Washington region. It includes local governments, state transportation agencies, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and members of the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies.
Executive Summary, Goals, Comments on Study
Release Date: Mar 19, 2008
Contact: Lauren Udwari