: News

The Paradox Of The Dulles Toll Road

Play associated audio

Tolls on the Dulles Toll Road will be going up by 25 cents next week to pay for the extension of Metrorail out to Dulles Airport. But this increase poses a bit of a problem.

There's a paradox involved in all Toll Roads: If you want them to generate more money, you raise the tolls -- but then fewer people use them, so you have to raise the tolls even more. Then even few people use the road...and so on and so on.

"That often will happen when you raise the prices on anything," says Tara Hamilton, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which owns and operates the Dulles Toll Road.

She says toll hikes won't affect demand that much.

"We do anticipate that, but we don't think that it would be a major impact on the expected revenue," Hamilton says.

And to pay for the new Metrorail line out to Dulles Airport, they're going to need a lot of revenue -- more than $5 billion. The Airports Authority's finance plan projects toll increases of around a quarter every year for the next 35 years.

NPR

Comic-Con Fans Continue The Epic Battle Between Science And Fiction

Fans of science fiction have long wrestled with the question of just how much science should be in their fiction. Advocates of different approaches met at San Diego's Comic-Con.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

Leaked Democratic Party Emails Show Members Tried To Undercut Sanders

Just days before the Democratic National Committee convention gets underway, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails among DNC staff, revealing discussions of topics from Bernie Sanders to the media.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.