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After Silver Line Debut, Attention Turns To Phase 2

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Metro welcomed riders for the first rush hour on the Silver Line on Monday.
Sam Howells/WAMU
Metro welcomed riders for the first rush hour on the Silver Line on Monday.

Metro's new Silver Line got off to a smooth start Monday, the first day of weekday service, but the five new stations in Northern Virginia are just one part of the strategy to ease construction in the region.

It took more than a decade to get these trains running out to Reston, Virginia, but construction is only complete on the first phase. The second phase will bring you out to Dulles Airport. It’s expected to be complete by 2018, but roadblocks remain.

Former Virginia Congressman Tom Davis sits on Metro’s board. He says lawmakers took a lot of heat to get Phase 1 completed.

“Phase 2 is even more complicated in terms of the funding but I think we have it settled now. Everybody wants to do it their way, and you've got to be able to sort those things out and come to some level of compromise with a system that works," Davis says.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he wants to devote $1 billion to Northern Virginia transportation projects over the next six years, including expanding I-66.

“I am all for doing whatever it takes to ease congestion, because when you ease congestion more businesses come,” McAuliffe says.

All told, the Silver Line is expected to cost nearly $6 billion, which comes from a mixture of tolls and federal and state tax dollars.

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