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Posted on: September 25, 2023

Loudoun County to Participate in Greenway Toll Increase Case

Image of cars on roadway with text about a toll increase proposal

Loudoun County will actively participate in the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) proceedings concerning the toll increase request by the owners of the Dulles Greenway. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously September 19, 2023, to direct the County Attorney to file a “notice of participation” with the SCC in the case. 

The notice of participation ensures that Loudoun’s Board will have access to all information provided to the SCC as it considers the application for a 40% increase in the maximum toll for passenger vehicles on the Greenway. It also allows the Board to provide the SCC with testimony and analysis independent of that offered by the owner of the toll road.

Public Comment Period

The SCC has opened its public comment opportunity and scheduled hearings on the application (Case # PUR-2023-00089) from the owners of the Greenway requesting to increase the maximum tolls for most drivers to $8.10 during peak hours, up from the current $5.80, and $6.40 during off-peak hours, up from $5.25.  

Written Comments

Members of the public may submit written comments through January 24, 2024. Written comments regarding the Greenway’s request for increased toll rates can be provided online through the SCC’s website at scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments (click on “Submit Comments” next to case # PUR-2023-00089). 

Written comments can also be submitted by U.S. mail to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. All comments must refer to case number PUR-2023-00089. 

Register for Oral Testimony

The SCC has also scheduled hearings regarding the Greenway’s request for increased toll rates. The public witness session is currently scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at 1300 East Main Street in Richmond. Public witnesses will testify by telephone.

Public witnesses who wish to provide oral testimony must pre-register by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 24, 2024, in one of three ways:

The SCC allots each witness five minutes to provide testimony.

A separate public evidentiary hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 31, 2024, to receive testimony and evidence from the company, any respondents and the SCC staff. Although testimony from members of the public will not be accepted on January 31, 2024, the hearing will be open to the public. 

Both hearings are scheduled to be webcast at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Webcasting

Background

Loudoun County has opposed toll rate increases requested by the operators of the Dulles Greenway, Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II), which filed its application for the authorization for an increase in the maximum level of tolls last month. The SCC is the entity that considers such requests. 

TRIP II has requested a toll increase of 22% during off-peak hours (from $5.25 to $6.40) and a 40% increase during peak morning and afternoon hours (from $5.80 to $8.10). TRIP II claims the increases are necessary to meet its debt obligation; however, data shows that use of the Greenway is down because of its already high toll rate. Traffic on the Greenway decreased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and has not returned to pre-COVID levels.

To promote use of the Greenway by more motorists, Loudoun County has consistently supported changing the Greenway’s toll structure to distance-based tolling while also lowering toll rates. The Greenway operator has the lawful ability to implement both changes now. Loudoun County believes TRIP II’s proposed rates will further discourage the use of the Greenway. 

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