I am delighted at VDOT’s decision to toll I-66 inside the Beltway and to investigate the impact of tolling and other Transportation Demand Management (TDM) measures to mitigate congestion before undertaking any further widening of the roadway. This makes good sense from both a traffic engineering and financial standpoint. If improved mass transit options together with tolling reduce congestion what’s the point of spending millions of dollars that VDOT could use better elsewhere in Northern Virginia?
However, I am concerned about recent reports that 5A bus service that goes from DC to Dulles Airport via I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road is going to be eliminated. This does not make sense, as the 5A is a heavily used alternative to the Silver Line, popular with commuters in terms of both cost and speed, and is the only option for bikers who can’t put their bikes on the Metro during rush hour. The 5A bus is also an ideal candidate for VDOT’s bus on shoulder initiative, which will induce more ridership to/from Dulles Airport when implemented.
The 5A bus and tolling I-66 go hand in hand, and I urge VDOT to keep the bus and toll the road.