Dulles Toll Road tolls increased effective Jan. 1, 2013 to fund construction of the Silver Line rail project to Dulles Airport.
As of Tuesday, it now costs more to drive on the Dulles Toll Road. The full, one-way toll increased by 50 cents to $2.75 — that's 25 cents more at the Main Toll Plaza and an additional 25 cents at the on/off ramps.
To the commuter who takes the road every day, that will amount to an extra $260 in 2013. The tolls are scheduled to increase again in January 2014 by another 75 cents.
Some drivers aren't happy about this, and one citizen activist wants them to start speaking up to state lawmakers.
"If people will speak out, we are in an election year, coming into an election for the Virginia legislature," says David LaRock, who runs the group NoTollIncrease.Org. "And if legislators will put some pressure on the governor there are a couple things he can do that will have a huge impact."
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority voted in November to increase the tolls to finance construction of the Silver Line to Dulles Airport. Tolls may increase dramatically over the next several decades to pay for the rail line — unless other revenue sources can be obtained.
Under the current financing arrangement, higher tolls would cover half of the $5.5 billion cost of the Silver Line project.
The airports authority hopes a federal loan will be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation that may relieve the burden on Dulles Toll Road users, who are about to begin subsidizing a rail line. The first phase of the Silver Line may be completed late next year, but it won't reach Dulles until 2018.