P. 1
Robert Brown Letter To Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

Robert Brown Letter To Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

|Views: 143|Likes:
Published by wamu885
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board member Robert Brown wrote to the Department of Transportation Oct. 2 to take issue with the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board member Robert Brown wrote to the Department of Transportation Oct. 2 to take issue with the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

More info:

Published by: wamu885 on Oct 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

10/04/2012

pdf

text

original

The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou

0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page ʹ of ͻ

In iecent months the Authoiity has been ciiticizeuǡ both by the piess
anu by you anu othei public officialsǡ foi vaiious goveinance ueficienciesǤ Some of
that ciiticism has been justifieuǡ anu the Authoiity has taken action to auuiess the
ueficienciesǤ 0nfoitunatelyǡ the uniemitting focus on Authoiity goveinance has
uiveiteu attention fiom the Silvei Line piojectǡ anu fiom the piincipal pioblem that
pioject facesǣ the piojectǯs plan of finance imposes an extiaoiuinaiily laige shaie of
pioject costs on the local communityǤ

I am wiiting to uige you to ieuiiect youi effoits as Secietaiy to
auuiessing that funuamental pioblemǤ


Independence:goodpublicpolicy–andstatutorilymandated

None of NWAAǯs contiibutions to the iegionǯs tianspoitation system
woulu have been possible hau the Authoiity not been inuepenuentǡ fiee fiom the
political skiimishing that sometimes engulfs neighboiing local goveinmentsǤ
Congiess iecognizeu that political inuepenuence was ciitical to the success of the
new agency it was cieatingǣ the legislationǯs stateu puipose was to facilitate
establishment of an Dzinuepenuent aiipoit authoiity cieateu by viiginia anu the
Bistiict of Columbiaǡ in oiuei to achieve local contiolǡ managementǡ opeiationǡ anu
uevelopment of these impoitant tianspoitation assetsǤdz
ʹ


Thusǡ the statute pioviues that the Netiopolitan Washington Aiipoits
Authoiity Dzshall be Ǥ Ǥ Ǥ inuepenuent of viiginia anu its local goveinmentsǡ the Bistiict
of Columbiaǡ anu the 0niteu States uoveinment Ǥ Ǥ Ǥ Ǥdz
͵



DOT’sencroachmentonMWAA’sindependence

B0T has ignoieu Congiessǯ cleai uiiectiveǤ Foi the past yeai B0T has
oveiieacheu in its effoits to coiiect peiceiveu ueficiencies in NWAA goveinanceǡ
significantly unueimining NWAAǯs inuepenuenceǤ While it is tiueǡ as you asseit in
youi }uly ͵ͳ letteiǡ that B0T has some iesponsibility foi Dzpiotecting the Feueial
inteiests in the aiipoits Ǥ Ǥ Ǥdzǡ the authoiity which you have claimeu foi youiself to
oveisee Ȃ anu even to uiiect Ȃ the Authoiityǯs opeiations anu uecisionǦmaking goes

ʹ
Ͷͻ 0ǤSǤCǤ Ț ͶͻͳͲʹȋaȌǤ
͵
Ͷͻ 0ǤSǤCǤ Ț ͶͻͳͲ͸ȋaȌȋʹȌǤ
The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou
0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page ͵ of ͻ

fai beyonu anything which can be founu in Title Ͷͻ of the 0niteu States Coue oi in
the Feueial Lease it authoiizesǤ

Not only have youi iepeateu encioachments on NWAAǯs inuepenuence
been of questionable lawfulnessǡ they have also gone fai beyonu the tiauitional iole
of 0ǤSǤ B0T in local pioject uevelopment anu executionǤ The level of hanusǦon
Secietaiial involvement in the Silvei Line pioject uuiing youi Auministiation is
highly unusualǡ peihaps unpieceuenteuǤ You have injecteu youiself into uecisions
about pioject scopeǡ pioject managementǡ Authoiity peisonnelǡ anu local legislation
to a uegiee seluom Ȃ if evei Ȃ seen in the execution of 0ǤSǤ tianspoitation piojectsǤ

1. yourappointmentofan“AccountabilityOfficer”

Youi }uly ͵ͳ lettei asseits youi authoiity to appoint an DzAccountability
0fficeidzǡ anu it uiiects the Aiipoits Authoiity to give hei access to NWAA uocuments
anu pioceeuings that goes fai beyonu anything that can be founu in Title ͶͻǤ Theie
is no legal basis foi B0Tǯs asseition of this coeicive feueial oveisight poweiǤ In factǡ
the sole piovision in Title Ͷͻ foi B0T access to Authoiity peisonnel anu iecoius
extenus only to Dzthe peiiou befoie }une ͹ǡ ͳͻͺ͹dzǡ
Ͷ
the uate contiol of Washington
National anu Washington Bulles was tiansfeiieu to the AuthoiityǤ Theie is no
ongoing legal iequiiement that the Authoiity pioviue a B0T official with blanket
access to peisonnel anu iecoiusǤ

Noi is theie any basis upon which B0T can claim a iightǡ supeiioi to all
othei NWAA paitneisǡ to conuuct uetaileu Dzaccountabilitydz oveisight of NWAAǤ
Suiely B0T has no bettei claim to imposing an Dzaccountability officeidz on the
Authoiity than uo viiginia anu the Bistiict of Columbiaǡ both membeis of the
compactǤ Anu what about Faiifax Countyǡ which is contiibuting moie to the pioject
than B0Tǫ 0i WNATAǡ which will be the eventual opeiatoi of the ̈́͸ billion pioject
the Authoiity is now builuingǫ If eveiy agency that has a stake in the affaiis of
NWAA weie to insist on its own Dzaccountability officeidzǡ the iesulting uysfunction
woulu make the Aiipoits Authoiityǯs piesent allegeu Dzuysfunctiondz look like Platoǯs
RepublicǤ

The pieceuential mischief that B0Tǯs heavyǦhanueu oveisight has
cieateu shoulu not be lightly iegaiueuǤ Alieauyǡ Faiifax County is auvocating a iole
foi itself in NWAA appointmentsǤ

Ͷ
See,e.gǤǡ Ͷͻ 0ǤSǤCǤ Ț ͶͻͳͲͶȋaȌȋ͸ȌȋAȌǤ
The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou
0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page Ͷ of ͻ

2. yourinvolvementinlocalgovernmentaffairs

Cieateu by an inteistate compact between viiginia anu the Bistiict of
Columbiaǡ the Aiipoits Authoiity is not a feueial agencyǡ but a iegional authoiityǤ
The cuiient impasse with iegaiu to amenuing the compact is puiely a local uisputeǡ
one heavily tingeu by paitisan political uiffeiencesǤ Yet you have actively Ȃ anu
peisonally Ȃ lobbieu multiple local officials in an effoit to coeice one of the compact
membeis to auopt legislation favoieu by the otheiǤ It is uifficult to unueistanu why
the 0ǤSǤ Secietaiy of Tianspoitation has felt impelleu to choose siues in this local
uisputeǡ paiticulaily since any iesolution of it will uo little to auuiess NWAAǯs
pioblemsǤ

The legislation uoes absolutely nothing to auuiess the many allegeu
NWAA ueficiencies that youi August ͳͶ lettei so meticulously anu compiehensively
catalogsǤ If anythingǡ by enlaiging an alieauy tooǦlaige goveining boaiuǡ the
legislation is likely to hinueiǡ not helpǡ the Authoiity impiove its opeiationsǤ 0nuei
the new lawǡ each local juiisuiction will get auuitional seats on the Authoiityǡ but the
net effect on voting powei will be slightǤ
ͷ
Foi exampleǡ viiginiaǯs voting powei will
be incieaseu less than ͵Ψǡ fiom ͵ͺǤͷΨ to ͶͳǤʹΨǤ ȋSee the encloseu spieausheetǤȌ
Bo you ieally expect that enlaiging the Authoiity Ȃ the same Authoiity you uesciibe
in youi August ͳͶ lettei as Dzuysfunctionaldz Ȃ fiom its cuiient cumbeisome ͳ͵
membeis to an even moie cumbeisome ͳ͹ will make it function moie efficientlyǫ
͸


3. anirregularInspectorGeneralinvestigation

B0Tǯs Inspectoi ueneialǡ in iesponse to Congiessman Fiank Wolfǯs
iequestǡ conuucteu a faiǦieaching examination of the AuthoiityǤ The B0T Inspectoi
ueneial hau no authoiityǡ beyonu a ieview of the Authoiityǯs stewaiuship of feueial
giant funusǡ to conuuct this examinationǤ In factǡ Congiess intenueu completely to

ͷ
While all thiee local juiisuictions get auuitional Authoiity membeisǡ the legislation
woulu uilute feueial iepiesentation on the Aiipoits AuthoiityǤ Thusǡ it is not cleai
how youi suppoit foi it Dzpiotects the Feueial inteiestsǤdz
͸
Congiessman Wolfǯs oiiginal billǡ which was passeu by the Bouse of Repiesentativesǡ
woulu have auueu foui new membeis to the Authoiityǡ all fiom viiginiaǤ The Authoiity
opposeu that legislationǤ Regiettablyǡ though the bill cleaily violateu the feueial statutoiy
manuate that NWAA be Dzinuepenuentdz anu the spiiit of iegionalism which animateu
cieation of the Aiipoits Authoiityǡ youi Auministiation uiu not join NWAA in opposing the
oiiginal Wolf billǤ
The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou
0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page ͷ of ͻ

sepaiate the aiipoits anu the Aiipoits Authoiity fiom B0Tǡ anu thus it vesteu
feueial oveisight of the Authoiity in the Comptiollei ueneialǤ
͹
Theie is no mention
of authoiity foi B0Tǯs Inspectoi ueneialǤ

Nost membeis of the Aiipoits Authoiity believeu that the Inspectoi
ueneial was acting fai beyonu the scope of his legal authoiityǤ ȋAt least one
Authoiity membei tolu the investigatois that the examination was a Dzpolitical witch
huntdzǤȌ Yet in the inteiest of inteigoveinmental comityǡ all Authoiity membeis save
two ȋone of whom is the cuiient vice ChaiimanȌ coopeiateu fully in the
investigationǡ assenting to lengthy inteiviews by the Inspectoi ueneialǯs
investigatoisǤ

The iiiegulaiity of the B0T Iuǯs iepoit was not limiteu to juiisuictional
issuesǤ Seluomǡ if eveiǡ uoes B0Tǯs Iu publish two veisions of its iepoitsǡ fiist an
inteiim iepoitǡ then latei the final veisionǤ Yet in NWAAǯs case the Iu piouuceu an
Dzinteiim iepoitdzǡ piecisely on the scheuule uictateu by CongǤ Wolf anu conveniently
timeu to sustain the continuing naiiative of attacks on the AuthoiityǤ


Ayearofnoisydistractionfromtherealproblem

None of the actions I have uesciibeuǡ though accompanieu by gieat
fanfaie anu piess ieleasesǡ has seiveu to auvance the Silvei Line piojectǤ They have
only uiminisheu the Authoiity that both you anu the local community aie ielying on
to builu a ciitical tianspoitation piojectǤ Inueeuǡ the likely longǦteim effect of youi
yeaiǦlong attack on NWAA will be to have unueimineu the capability of the
communityǯs chosen vehicle to uevelop the Silvei Line piojectǤ

Yet the uamage causeu by the noisy yeailong assault on Aiipoits
Authoiity inuepenuence is not just that it has eioueu public tiust in an impoitant
iegional agencyǤ 0i that it has uelayeu the Silvei Line piojectǤ 0i that it has iaiseu
questions in the capital maikets wheie ̈́͸ billion in NWAA bonus aie cuiiently
tiaueu anu on which NWAAǯs futuie vitality uepenusǤ The ieal uamage inflicteu by
the assault on NWAA is that it has uiveiteu attention fiom the Silvei Line pioject Ȃ
anu fiom its funuamentally flaweu plan of financeǤ



͹
Ͷͻ 0ǤSǤCǤ Ț ͶͻͳͲͶȋaȌȋ͹ȌǤ
The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou
0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page ͸ of ͻ

Theunfulfilledpromiseoffederalleadership

Notwithstanuing the uniqueness of the hanusǦon iole you set foi
youiself in NWAAǯs Silvei Line piojectǡ many of us initially welcomeu youi peisonal
involvementǤ Ceitainly Iǡ as one of the initial paiticipants in the negotiations you
conveneuǡ was optimistic youi involvement woulu iectify the obvious ueficiencies in
this complex piojectǯs plan of financeǤ We hopeu that youi convening Ȃ anu
peisonally leauing Ȃ negotiations among all the Silvei Line stakeholueis in the
summei of ʹͲͳͳ woulu be a fiist step in youi pioviuing feueial leaueiship with
iespect to all the many challenging elements of this uifficult piojectǤ In factǡ the
Authoiity tempoiaiily halteu uevelopment of Phase ʹ that summei to accommouate
youi inteiventionǤ

The paities you conveneu fiist focuseuǡ at youi insistenceǡ on scope
changes anu cost ieuuctionǤ Those of us conceineu about the plan of finance
ueficiencies ielieu on youi explicit commitment that the funuing questions ȋthe
DzpayǦfoisdzȌ woulu be taken up lateiǤ But iegiettablyǡ once the pioject scope was
changeu to achieve uesiieu cost ieuuctionsǡ
ͺ
you teiminateu the piocessǤ Theie was
nevei any uiscussion of payǦfoisǤ The iesult was that the local taxpayeis anu the
local tollǦpayeis weie left just as they weie when you conveneu the negotiations ǦǦ
beaiing essentially the full cost of Phase ʹ ȋ̈́ʹǤͺǦ̈́͵Ǥͳ billionȌǤ

Buiing the subsequent monthsǡ even when you hau an oppoitunity to
leau that uiu not iequiie you to uelve into the uifficult issue of financingǡ you
uemuiieuǤ The Authoiity initially intenueu to iequiie the use of a pioject laboi
agieement foi Phase ʹǡ the same kinu of agieement that has pioven so beneficial on
Phase ͳǤ When viiginia objecteuǡ the Authoiity mouifieu the Phase ʹ piocuiement
piocess to offei biuueis with a PLA a piefeience in the scoiing of theii pioposalsǤ So
mouifieuǡ NWAAǯs piocuiement woulu have followeu piecisely the feueial mouel Ȃ
anu the policy of youi AuministiationǤ In Febiuaiy the Authoiity appioveu the

ͺ
The actual cost ieuuction piouuceu by the piocess you leu falls fai shoit of the fictional
̈́ͳ billion numbei wiuely tiumpeteu in the piessǤ NWAA hau alieauy shaveu
appioximately ̈́͵ͲͲ million of costs piioi to B0Tǯs involvementǢ B0T claimeu those
ieuuctions as pait of the ̈́ͳ billion savingsǤ Anothei ̈́͵ͲͲ million of pioject costs was
simply shifteuǡ at youi uiiectionǡ to Faiifax anu Louuoun countiesǢ the tab foi those pioject
elementsǡ though now no longei pait of Dzpioject costsdzǡ still will be boine by noithein
viiginiansǤ The tiue cost ieuuction which emeigeu fiom youi piocess is ̈́͵ͲͲǦͶͲͲ millionǡ
almost all of which is the iesult of amenuing the feueial Recoiu of Becision to builu a
cheapei anu infeiioi Netio station at Bulles AiipoitǤ
The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou
0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page ͹ of ͻ

mouifieu piocuiement piocess unanimouslyǤ When viiginia subsequently
continueu to object to the ieviseu laboi piovisionǡ the Authoiity hau hopeu thatǡ
having chosen to ieplicate the policy of youi Auministiationǡ we woulu have youi
suppoitǤ 0nce againǡ we weie uisappointeuǤ


SilverLine’sfundamentallyflawedplanoffinance

}ust ovei a yeai agoǡ I wiote an opǦeu foi the Washington Post
uesciibing the extiaoiuinaiily heavy buiuen the Silvei Lineǯs plan of finance
imposes on the local communityǡ anu explaining the essential ieason Ȃ an absence of
significant financial suppoit fiom both B0T anu viiginiaǤ ȋA copy of the aiticle is
encloseuǤȌ 0vei a yeai lateiǡ nothing has changeuǤ Rathei than focusing on pioject
DzpayǦfoisdzǡ anu on finuing ways that the feueial goveinment coulu pioviue gieatei
suppoit foi this piojectǡ B0T has spent the past yeai immeiseu in local political
squabbles which have seiveu only to uistiact the public anu the pioject paitneis
fiom the Silvei Line piojectǯs ieal neeuǣ a plan of finance with substantially moie
giant funuingǤ

The Authoiity has begun a iatemaking piocess puisuant to which it
will piomulgate toll iates foi the next thiee yeaisǤ The steauy climb in toll iatesǡ
begun slowly with the last iatemaking thiee yeais agoǡ will now acceleiateǤ The
iatemaking will lay baie the tiuth about the plan of financeǡ anu the buiuen it
imposes on viiginia motoiistsǤ The politics of uiveision anu uistiactionǡ which has
woikeu so well foi the past yeaiǡ will no longei be able to hiue fiom viiginians these
staik factsǣ

x No othei majoi 0ǤSǤ tianspoitation pioject has so little feueial suppoitǤ
Feueial aiu funus total only about oneǦsixth of pioject costsǡ a fai smallei
feueial shaie than that on any othei multiǦbillionǦuollai 0ǤSǤ tianspoitation
piojectǤ

x No othei laige viiginia tianspoitation pioject has so little state suppoitǤ The
WashingtonPost has uesciibeu viiginiaǯs ̈́ͳͷͲ million giant funuing foi
Phase ʹ as DzpaltiyǤdz
ͻ


ͻ
WashingtonPost euitoiial uateu }une Ͷǡ ʹͲͳʹ
ȋwwwǤwashingtonpostǤcomȀopinionsȀaiipoitsǦauthoiityǦshouluǦuiopǦpiefeienceǦfoiǦplaǦ
foiǦsilveiǦlineȀʹͲͳʹȀͲ͸ȀͲͶȀg}QAxʹaKEv̴stoiyǤhtmlȌǤ
The Bonoiable Ray LaBoou
0ctobei ʹǡ ʹͲͳʹ
Page ͺ of ͻ

AddressingtheSilverLine’sfundingneeds

You have iepeateuly uesciibeu the Silvei Line pioject as Dzone of the
most impoitantǡ if not the most impoitantǡ tianspoitation pioject in AmeiicaǤdz Few
woulu uisagiee with youǤ But whethei the taxpayeis anu motoiists of noithein
viiginia also woulu agiee with you that this piojectǡ with its heavy ieliance on local
funuingǡ is a Dzmoueldz foi the nation is questionableǤ

If nothing changes in the Silvei Lineǯs plan of financeǡ noithein
viiginians will soon be paying uoubleǦuigit tolls on the Bulles Toll RoauǤ That is not
speculationǤ It is a factǡ shown by multiple inuepenuent tiaffic foiecasts anu
financial mouelingǤ Excess costs have been wiung out of the pioject buugetǤ LowǦ
inteiest loans still have to be paiu backǤ Theie is only one way to mateiially
moueiate those toll incieasesǣ auuitional outsiue funuingǡ fiom 0ǤSǤ B0T anu fiom
viiginiaǤ

1. FederalgrantfundingforPhase2

The Authoiity is seeking a feueial lowǦinteiest TIFIA loanǡ anu we aie
hopeful you will appiove a loan laige enough to funu all the iemaining uebt
iequiiements of the piojectǤ

But while lowǦcost TIFIA financing will moueiate toll incieasesǡ only
auuitional giant funuing can foiestall exoibitantly high tollsǤ I iespectfully ask that
in youi final months as Secietaiy of Tianspoitation you finu a wayǡ peihaps by
woiking with CongǤ Wolf who has a longstanuing inteiest in this piojectǡ to pioviue
auuitional feueial giant funus foi the Silvei Line piojectǤ You have maue this pioject
a high peisonal piioiityǡ but it is uoomeu to failuie if all iemaining pioject costs aie
funueu with auuitional uebtǤ

2. increasingVirginiagrantfunding

It has become appaient uuiing the couise of the past two yeais that
you have uevelopeu a stiong woiking ielationship with the uoveinoi of viiginiaǤ
Anu he has maue it cleai that the Silvei Line is foi himǡ as it is foi youǡ a high
peisonal piioiityǤ To uateǡ howeveiǡ viiginiaǯs financial suppoit foi the Silvei Line
has beenǡ to put it gentlyǡ uisappointingǤ

M
e
t
r
o
p
o
l
i
t
a
n

W
a
s
h
i
n
g
t
o
n

A
i
r
p
o
r
t
s

A
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
W
o
l
f

l
e
g
i
s
l
a
t
i
o
n

m
a
k
e
s

m
i
n
i
m
a
l

c
h
a
n
g
e
s

i
n

r
e
g
i
o
n
a
l

v
o
t
i
n
g

p
o
w
e
r
c
u
r
r
e
n
t

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n

u
n
d
e
r

W
o
l
f

l
e
g
i
s
l
a
t
i
o
n
v
o
t
i
n
g
v
o
t
i
n
g
c
h
a
n
g
e

i
n
m
e
m
b
e
r
s
p
o
w
e
r
m
e
m
b
e
r
s
p
o
w
e
r
v
o
t
i
n
g

p
o
w
e
r
V
i
r
g
i
n
i
a
5
3
8
.
5
%
7
4
1
.
2
%
2
.
7
%
D
.
C
.
3
2
3
.
1
%
4
2
3
.
5
%
0
.
5
%
M
a
r
y
l
a
n
d
2
1
5
.
4
%
3
1
7
.
6
%
2
.
3
%
U
.
S
.
3
2
3
.
1
%
3
1
7
.
6
%
Ͳ
5
.
4
%
t
o
t
a
l
:
1
3
1
7
Washington Post Opinions
The Dulles Metro station isn’t the
problem. The Toll Road increases are.
By Robert Clarke Brown, Friday, July 29, 2011
At last, Northern Virginia’s elected officials have gotten what they wanted. The
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has acceded to U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood’s request to change the original Dulles Metrorail project
alignment — an alignment agreed to just four years ago by all parties — and to build an
inferior station at Dulles International Airport. Unfortunately, getting what they wanted
won’t fix the real problem facing Northern Virginians.
That’s because the problem confronting Dulles Metrorail is not the project’s cost but high
tolls. As the airports authority has repeatedly demonstrated, a world-class underground
station at Dulles would increase the cost of using the Dulles Toll Road by no more than
10 percent. Irrespective of which airport station is built, Dulles Toll Road drivers will be
paying a double-digit toll for a trip less than a decade after Dulles Metrorail is completed.
Under the current funding plan, almost 100 percent of the cost of Phase 2 of the Dulles
Metrorail project is to be paid from local sources: one-fourth from Fairfax and Loudoun
counties and the airports authority, and three-fourths from Dulles Toll Road revenue.
There is no state grant assistance. There is no federal grant assistance.
No other transit megaproject in the United States is 100 percent locally funded. In fact,
most have combined state and federal assistance of at least one-third of costs.
It should hardly be a shock, then, that the tolls needed to support Dulles Metrorail will be
eye-popping. To be sure, the secretary’s process, by reducing Phase 2 costs (and shifting
$400ௗmillion of costs to Fairfax and Loudoun), will have some mitigating effect on tolls.
But even at the $2.8ௗbillion cost the secretary has found acceptable, today’s $2 toll is
projected to be $13 in 20 years, $17 in 30 years.
Though tolls are the real issue, the discussions in the secretary’s conference room focused
almost exclusively on project costs, and particularly on the Dulles station. The Dulles
underground station has made for great political theater — big dollar number, easy to
understand, easy to ridicule.
But now the time for political theater is over, and it’s time to build the project — and
squarely and honestly address the problem of high tolls.
The cost reduction and cost-shifting directed by the secretary was a valuable first step in
controlling toll increases — but it was only a first step. What Dulles Metrorail needs now
is meaningful participation by the U.S. Department of Transportation and by Virginia.
The airports authority has requested a substantial loan from DOT’s Transportation
Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, which would have a
profound effect on toll rates. The popular program is oversubscribed, so the competition
for TIFIA loans is fierce. But the airports authority has offered to pay the “credit subsidy”
— a cost akin to a mortgage origination fee that is normally picked up by the federal
government — so that its request could be granted without crowding out other worthy
applicants. In the past, the department has accepted such payments from TIFIA
borrowers, but it has refused the airports authority’s offer.
Instead, DOT has decided to provide TIFIA assistance to the counties for the
privatization of the Metrorail parking garages. Perhaps the department thought TIFIA for
these projects would make it easier to persuade Fairfax and Loudoun to swallow the
additional financial burden, although it’s not clear that developers in wealthy Northern
Virginia need federal support or that these two wealthy counties need federal help in
attracting private developers. But whatever the reasons, DOT’s bottom line is this: Yes to
federal assistance for private parking garage developers; no to federal assistance for
Northern Virginia’s heavily burdened toll payers.
Virginia’s representatives were perhaps the most vocal participants in the meetings with
the secretary. They were relentless advocates for cost reductions. But other than pounding
the table for lower costs, Richmond had little to offer Northern Virginians.
After much tugging and pulling, Virginia seems to have agreed to inject $150ௗmillion into
this $3ௗbillion project (though the governor is reluctant to give a firm commitment even
for that puny amount). Yet the state has no reluctance to make hefty contributions to
other large state projects.
The day after the airports authority voted to change the airport station, Virginia
announced that it would provide approximately $400ௗmillion to the $2ௗbillion midtown
tunnel project in Norfolk — for the explicit purpose of reducing toll rates. Virginia also
has injected $400ௗmillion into the $2ௗbillion Beltway HOT lanes project (which got a
$600ௗmillion TIFIA loan). Both of those projects are privatized.
Most Northern Virginians want Dulles Metrorail, for both the transportation service it
will provide and the economic development it will stimulate, and are willing to contribute
to its cost. But across Virginia and around the nation, other communities are getting
major state and federal support for transportation infrastructure. Once they begin paying
double-digit tolls, Northern Virginians may wonder why the federal government and their
own governor are leaving them to fend for themselves.
Robert Clarke Brown, Shaker Heights, Ohio
The writer chairs the finance committee of the Metropolitan Washington Airports
Authority board of directors.

4
9
5

E
x
p
r
e
s
s

L
a
n
e
s
D
o
w
n
t
o
w
n

T
u
n
n
e
l

M
i
d
t
o
w
n

T
u
n
n
e
l

M
L
K
i
n
g

E
x
p
r
e
s
s
w
a
y

I
-
9
5

H
O
V
/
H
O
T

L
a
n
e
s
P
R
O
J
E
C
T

S
P
O
N
S
O
R
P
r
i
v
a
t
e
P
r
i
v
a
t
e
P
r
i
v
a
t
e
P
h
a
s
e

1
P
h
a
s
e

2

*
T
o
t
a
l

*
*
E
S
T
I
M
A
T
E
D

C
A
P
I
T
A
L

C
O
S
T

(
$

m
i
l
l
i
o
n
s
)
$
2
,
9
0
5
$
3
,
0
9
3
$
5
,
9
9
8
$
1
,
9
3
9
$
1
,
4
8
0

$
1
,
1
4
0
S
T
A
T
E

F
U
N
D
I
N
G

(
$
m
i
l
l
i
o
n
s
)
$
1
7
7
$
1
7
3
$
3
5
0
$
4
0
9
$
4
0
8
$
2
9
7
%

o
f

t
o
t
a
l

p
r
o
j
e
c
t

c
o
s
t
6
%
6
%
6
%
2
1
%
2
8
%
2
6
%
S
O
U
R
C
E

O
F

S
T
A
T
E

F
U
N
D
I
N
G
$
5
1
.
7
M

o
f

g
r
a
n
t
s

f
r
o
m

V
i
r
g
i
n
i
a

T
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t
a
t
i
o
n

A
c
t

o
f

2
0
0
0
;

$
1
2
5
M

C
o
m
m
o
n
w
e
a
l
t
h

T
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t
a
t
i
o
n

B
o
n
d
s
$
2
3
M

V
T
A

2
0
0
0

s
p
e
n
t

o
n

e
a
r
l
y

d
e
s
i
g
n

a
n
d

$
1
5
0
M

p
u
r
s
u
a
n
t

t
o

U
.
S
.

D
O
T

M
O
A
.


T
h
e

$
1
5
0
M

i
s

a
n
t
i
c
i
p
a
t
e
d

t
o

b
e

f
u
n
d
e
d

f
r
o
m

t
h
e

p
r
o
c
e
e
d
s

o
f

C
a
p
i
t
a
l

P
r
o
j
e
c
t
s

R
e
v
e
n
u
e

B
o
n
d
s

i
s
s
u
e
d

b
y

t
h
e

C
o
m
m
o
n
w
e
a
l
t
h
.
C
o
m
m
o
n
w
e
a
l
t
h

h
a
s

c
o
n
t
r
a
c
t
u
a
l

c
o
m
m
i
t
m
e
n
t

t
o

p
r
o
v
i
d
e

g
r
a
n
t

f
u
n
d
s

f
o
r

w
o
r
k

o
n

s
p
e
c
i
f
i
c

i
n
t
e
r
c
h
a
n
g
e
s

o
v
e
r

a

f
i
v
e

y
e
a
r

p
e
r
i
o
d

(
s
u
b
j
e
c
t

t
o

G
e
n
e
r
a
l

A
s
s
e
m
b
l
y

a
p
p
r
o
p
r
i
a
t
i
o
n
,

C
T
B

a
l
l
o
c
a
t
i
o
n
,

a
n
d

n
o

c
o
n
t
r
a
c
t

d
e
f
a
u
l
t
s
)
C
o
m
m
o
n
w
e
a
l
t
h

c
o
n
t
r
i
b
u
t
e
d

$
3
0
8
M

a
t

f
i
n
a
n
c
i
a
l

c
l
o
s
e
.

C
T
B

p
r
o
v
i
d
e
d

a
n
o
t
h
e
r

$
1
0
0
M

a
t

G
o
v
e
r
n
o
r
'
s

r
e
q
u
e
s
t

t
o

d
e
l
a
y

t
o
l
l
i
n
g

u
n
t
i
l

J
a
n
u
a
r
y

2
0
1
4
.


F
u
n
d
i
n
g

s
o
u
r
c
e
s

a
r
e

$
3
5
0
M

o
f

G
A
R
V
E
E

b
o
n
d

p
r
o
c
e
e
d
s

a
n
d

a
n

a
d
v
a
n
c
e

f
r
o
m

V
D
O
T
'
s

T
o
l
l

F
a
c
i
l
i
t
i
e
s

R
e
v
o
l
v
i
n
g

A
c
c
o
u
n
t

t
h
a
t

m
a
y

b
e

r
e
p
a
i
d

f
r
o
m

H
a
m
p
t
o
n

R
o
a
d
s

D
i
s
t
r
i
c
t

m
a
i
n
t
e
n
a
n
c
e

f
u
n
d
s
.
$
9
7
M

V
D
O
T

g
r
a
n
t

f
o
r

e
a
r
l
y

c
o
n
s
t
r
u
c
t
i
o
n

a
c
t
i
v
i
t
i
e
s

a
n
d

$
2
0
0
M

f
o
r

t
r
a
n
s
i
t

a
n
d

p
a
r
k
i
n
g

i
m
p
r
o
v
e
m
e
n
t
s

a
s
s
o
c
i
a
t
e
d

w
i
t
h

t
h
e

p
r
o
j
e
c
t
.


I
n
i
t
i
a
l

a
d
v
a
n
c
e

o
f

$
4
5
M

f
r
o
m

t
h
e

s
t
a
t
e
'
s

T
o
l
l

F
a
c
i
l
i
t
i
e
s

R
e
v
o
l
v
i
n
g

A
c
c
o
u
n
t

m
a
y

b
e

r
e
p
a
i
d

f
r
o
m

G
A
R
V
E
E

b
o
n
d

p
r
o
c
e
e
d
s
.
*

P
h
a
s
e

2

c
o
s
t

e
s
t
i
m
a
t
e

b
a
s
e
d

o
n

1
0
0
%

P
r
e
l
i
m
i
n
a
r
y

E
n
g
i
n
e
e
r
i
n
g
.

T
h
e

a
m
o
u
n
t

i
n
c
l
u
d
e
s

$
4
0
4

m
i
l
l
i
o
n

f
o
r

t
h
e

R
o
u
t
e

2
8

S
t
a
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

t
h
e

f
i
v
e

P
h
a
s
e

2

p
a
r
k
i
n
g






g
a
r
a
g
e
s

t
h
a
t

F
a
i
r
f
a
x

a
n
d

L
o
u
d
o
u
n

C
o
u
n
t
y

h
a
v
e

a
g
r
e
e
d

t
o

u
s
e

t
h
e
i
r

b
e
s
t

e
f
f
o
r
t
s

t
o

f
u
n
d

f
r
o
m

o
t
h
e
r

s
o
u
r
c
e
s
.


*
*

T
o
t
a
l

a
m
o
u
n
t

o
f

s
t
a
t
e

f
u
n
d
i
n
g

d
o
e
s

n
o
t

i
n
c
l
u
d
e

$
7
5

m
i
l
l
i
o
n

o
f

C
o
m
m
o
n
w
e
a
l
t
h

I
n
t
e
r
s
t
a
t
e

M
a
i
n
t
e
n
a
n
c
e

f
u
n
d
s

a
n
d

f
u
n
d
s

a
l
l
o
c
a
t
e
d

t
o

V
i
r
g
i
n
i
a

u
n
d
e
r

t
h
e

f
e
d
e
r
a
l






S
u
r
f
a
c
e

T
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t
a
t
i
o
n

P
r
o
g
r
a
m

t
h
a
t

w
e
r
e

"
f
l
e
x
e
d
"

t
o

t
h
e

R
a
i
l

P
r
o
j
e
c
t

t
h
r
o
u
g
h

t
h
e

F
T
A
'
s

S
e
c
t
i
o
n

5
3
0
7

P
r
o
g
r
a
m
.

D
u
l
l
e
s

M
e
t
r
o
r
a
i
l

P
u
b
l
i
c
S
t
a
t
e

F
u
n
d
i
n
g

f
o
r

V
i
r
g
i
n
i
a
'
s

M
a
j
o
r

T
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t
a
t
i
o
n

P
r
o
j
e
c
t
s

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->