Bipartisan agreement on Greenway Legislation
On Jan. 11, Senator John Bell and Delegate Suhas Subramanyam have finalized legislation for the 2021 session, which will bring transparency and accountability to the process of toll price increases on the Dulles Greenway.
“I’m proud that the Loudoun Delegation and Loudoun Board of Supervisors have been able to come together to find a legislative solution that will create a transparent process for future toll rate hikes on the Dulles Greenway.
“I’ve been focused on this issue since I was elected to the House of Delegates and have continued the work in the Senate, and I believe we have found the solution that will move us in the right direction. This is a bipartisan victory that will benefit Loudoun County residents and commuters,” said Senator John J. Bell.
“This solution provides the framework for a resolution to reduce the burden of tolls on the families of Loudoun County,” said Delegate David Reid.
“Enough is enough. Toll prices are at record highs on the Greenway, and there has been very little transparency and accountability to justify the burden on Loudoun families. This has to end, and it starts with this legislation that enjoys broad support from the Board of Supervisors, the business community, and working families across Northern Virginia. We must pass this legislation to protect working families and small businesses across Northern Virginia, from high tolls, especially during this global
crisis,” said Delegate Suhas Subramanyam.
“Bringing relief to Dulles Greenway drivers has always been one of my top priorities. The Board of Supervisors legal efforts to challenge Greenway toll increases has yielded encouraging developments with the State Corporation Commission for the first time. The next step is to help define the process for future toll rate cases with common-sense regulations that create a more level playing field. While it has been difficult to get traction in the General Assembly in the past, I am very pleased that our Loudoun delegation, led by Senator Bell and Delegate Subramanyam, are now unified with the County on legislative language and an approach to benefit our residents. The
County will be heavily engaged and working closely with them during this year’s session to gain passage of this bill,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau.
“Dulles Greenway toll rates are literally highway robbery. During my time in the General Assembly, I personally invested a great deal of time and effort to challenge the Greenway’s toll increases, and I drafted legislation that would fix the regulatory process to give Loudoun residents a fair chance. That legislation is the backbone of the bill being introduced in the 2021 session. I very much appreciate the leadership of Senator Bell and Delegate Subramanyam along with the willingness of the rest of the
Loudoun delegation to pick up this effort and work closely with the County on this important issue. I look forward to doing everything I can with my former General Assembly colleagues to help get this bill passed,” said former Delegate David Ramadan.
“The Loudoun Board of Supervisors has consistently and unanimously supported legislation that protects our citizens from the unfair and egregious toll increases on the Dulles Greenway. We continue to support increased accountability and additional regulations that do not allow TRIP II to circumvent fairness at the expense of Loudoun commuters. I am pleased that our Board supported the legislative language in the Virginia General Assembly and I will continue to work with my elected colleagues in
both bodies to ensure its passage,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall.
The legislation further emphasizes that any proposed toll rates must be reasonable, not materially discourage use of the roadway, and provide the operator no more than a reasonable return. Any toll rates that fail to satisfy these criteria are against the public interest and may not be approved by the State Corporation Commission.
The bill also prevents the Greenway owners from using the toll road as a financial instrument by requiring approval from the SCC on any refinancing of debt obligations.
This bill has reached a bipartisan agreement and is supported by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the Loudoun Delegation.