Monday, January 28, 2008

Listen in and Comment on Dulles Rail

Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher has begun hosting a weekly podcast called "Raw Fisher Radio" that airs weekly each Tuesday at noon. And tomorrow's topic is one of interest for Loudoun County Traffic readers... the Dulles Airport rail issue.

Washington Post staff writers Eric Weiss and Lena H. Sun were online today, Monday, Jan. 28 answering questions and engaging with readers about the Dulles project. A transcript of the Q&A can be found here. Among Weiss's responses to someone from Arlington that was "estatic" that the Feds were denying funding... "I don't mean to be flip, but 40 years ago the region decided to invest heavily into Metro, but somehow the system left out the biggest airport and its largest sub-city. This was a late, bungled, controversy filled attempt to fix those oversights."

And later he comments, "But the bottom line is that the region is once again going to be relying for the foreseeable future (or at least someone invents those Jetsons-like flying machines) on highways such as Route 7, 123, 495, 66, 50, etc."

Meanwhile, today's Washington Post continues to follow the hot story with an article about possible alternative funding. Reporter Amy Gardner writes that private equity investors are drawing up proposals to partner with Virginia for a rail line to Dulles International Airport as hope fades that the federal government will help fund the 23-mile Metrorail extension. State officials said several equity groups have expressed interest in investing in a rail since Thursday, when U.S. transportation officials declared the project unfit for federal funding. The $5 billion project had been counting on a $900 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

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