Friday, February 8, 2008

Dulles Rail Media Coverage

Today's Observer newspaper reports that with funding for the Metro extension to Dulles still undecided, businesses across the region are joining together to show their support for the Silver Line.

"As of Tuesday, more than 225 companies and organizations have signed an online petition for the project at, and several declared their support during a press conference about the project on Friday.

"President and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce Eileen Curtis also expressed concerns about how the death of the Silver Line could affect the region's economy. She said businesses rely on a talented workforce and without the ability to find and recruit talented people businesses cannot grow. "It would very much alter the region's economy negatively," Curtis said.

The Leesburg Today paper reports on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopting a resolution at their meeting this week in support of the rail project.

"Eight of the nine supervisors said they believed that the federal government would be "getting it wrong" if it were to pull funding for the Dulles Rail project. "It is important to note that if rail dies the economic vitality of Dulles airport will forever be limited. That means that our economic vitality will forever be limited," Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said.

"This particular project would remove 150,000 cars a day on the toll road. That is the equivalent of four lanes on the toll road," Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large) said.

"Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles) said that his campaign showed him that the construction of Dulles rail was also the will of the people. "People were wildly enthusiastic about it," he said. "Every signal coming from FTA to Virginia was that everything was moving forward. That issues were being addressed."

"Only Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), a long-time detractor of the project, voted against the resolution of support, saying instead that he supported proposed legislation by Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) and Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) that would provide a bus rapid transit system for Northern Virginia and its residents. In a statement, Marshall said he supported the Metro project but "not at any cost" and the bus rapid transit system is the best alternative option for residents.

And in a related story, the Washington Examiner reports today that Dulles International Airport handled 24.7 million passengers last year, its second-busiest year ever. It's an increase of more than 100,000 people from the previous record set in 2006.

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