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Drivers could pay $6 fees starting in January when exiting Dulles Toll Road

A proposal calls for an increase of 75 cents to the Dulles Toll Road every five years starting in 2023 to help fund the Silver Line.

MCLEAN, Va. — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (WMAA) released a report indicating that toll rates will be increased along the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) beginning in January 2023. 

The last time rates increased on the road was in 2019. Currently, drivers exiting the road are spending a total of $4.75 by paying $3.25 to use DTR's main toll plaza and $1.50 at the on and off ramps. 

WMAA is the entity in charge of establishing and charging tolls and fees for use of the toll road located in the Dulles Corridor and it is proposing increasing the trip cost to drivers by $1.25 next year. The proposal, which could go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, would mean a trip to exit the toll road would cost $6, with a $4 charge for using the main toll and a $2 charge for the ramp toll.

The Airport Authority is proposing adjusting the toll rate by an increase of 75 cents every five years if the increase goes into effect in January. So, from 2028 to 2032, the proposed increase would mean a total trip exiting DTR would cost $7.25 — with a $4.75 charge at the main toll and a $2.50 charge at the ramp toll. 

According to the Washington Post, the revenue generated from the increased toll rate "would be used to pay for construction of the $5.8 billion Silver Line rail project," meaning revenue from the tolls would pay for "nearly half the cost of the rail extension."

The Silver Line rail project, also known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, aims to create a 23-mile extension of the Metro. MWAA is in charge of building the line in two phases, the first of which was completed in July 2014, connecting East Falls Church to Tyson's Corner and Reston. 

According to The Post, this is the first Metro line that is being built "by a private contractor hired by MWAA" instead of the transit agency, itself. 

There have been several delays to the second phase of the Silver Line, which allows for Metro riders to take rail all the way to Washington Dulles Airport, but Paul Wiedefeld, the former general manager of WMATA, said in March that Metro "hope[s] the service could begin later this summer."

MWAA will go through its regulatory process before the toll rates are increased by consulting with the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee (DCAC) and holding public hearings. The public hearings will happen on July 18 and July 22 and there will also be a 30-day period from June to August for people to weigh in with their opinions. 

The Airports Authority says that in June it will present the Dulles Corridor and Finances Committees with a proposal to eliminate coin-drop baskets at the tolls and administer fees to drivers without EZ-Passes based on their license plates.

Action taken on the increased toll rates by the MWAA Board of Directors is scheduled to happen on Nov. 16. 

By 2048, the proposed increase would mean exiting DTR would cost riders a total of $12.50.

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