The Supreme Court of Virginia issued an opinion upholding the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) findings in its investigation of toll rates on the Dulles Greenway, which is the only privately owned toll road in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The SCC‘s investigation had determined that no changes to the toll rates on the Dulles Greenway were required.
The Supreme Court’s opinion affirms that the SCC’s investigation was proper and that a rational basis existed for the SCC’s 2015 decision.
The court’s opinion is posted on its website at www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1151976.pdf.
“The Board of Supervisors was disappointed to learn of the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Chair Phyllis J. Randall. “By any standard, the tolls charged on the Greenway are excessive and we continue to believe that reducing the cost of using the Greenway would help to alleviate traffic congestion in the region without digging into the profits of TRIP II.”
Over the past four years, state representatives, Loudoun County, and other stakeholders have fought for more equitable toll rates on the Greenway, which included proposals for distanced-based tolling and other methods to increase use of the Greenway while decreasing the toll burden on motorists. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling this week, state and local officials have exhausted their ability to contest the toll rates on the Greenway through administrative and judicial procedures.
“During our last term, the Board decided to partner with then-Delegate David Ramadan to fight the Greenway at the SCC and the Supreme Court since the General Assembly did not act on his legislation that would have provided relief to Loudoun residents,” said Dulles District Supervisor Matt F. Letourneau.
“While we knew that our appeal would be a long shot, if nothing else it demonstrates that the county has exhausted all judicial means to rectify this problem — meaning that it is time for our lawmakers to act. I still believe that the SCC used flawed analysis to justify their continued Greenway toll increases, and that it is abundantly clear to all of us that the excessive Greenway tolls are materially discouraging the use of the Greenway, in violation of the law.”
Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II) owns the Dulles Greenway.
Any further effort to reduce tolls for Loudoun’s residents would require action by the Virginia General Assembly to change the laws regulating toll rates charged by private toll operators.