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White Paper Reston Citizens Association Reston 2020 Committee May 9, 2012 Rail to Dulles and “The Highway

of the One Percent” Summary Contrary to the perception generated by political posturing and massive media attention to the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) issue confronting Phase 2 of the Silver Line construction debate, PLAs are a marginal issue in the line's success. The core issue Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the so-called “stakeholders” in the construction of the Silver Line must address is the gross inequity and negative economic consequences of the more than 800% planned increase in tolls to finance the its construction. In fact, the huge toll increases make Dulles Toll Road users the primary financial stakeholder in the Silver Line. Those massive increases are dictated in the current financial arrangement among the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Fairfax County, and Loudoun County that commits 100,000 or so toll road users to paying 63% of the $2.8 billion estimated cost of Phase 2 and over half the line’s total $5.7 billion construction cost. All together, the official MWAA forecast sees toll road users paying more than $17 billion over four decades to pay off near-junk rated revenues bonds issued by MWAA to cover the construction costs while local jurisdictions and landowners reap the economic benefit. This is an inefficient, unethical, and unfair way to manage any public roadway, much less one that is such a vital transportation artery for western Fairfax County and eastern Loudoun County. The impact on area transportation borders on devastating. These increases will cause the annual costs for regular toll road users to escalate from less than $1,000 to more than $8,000—over $3,000 in 2012 dollar terms—by 2048. Those costs will eat up nearly half the projected gains in real Fairfax County median household income, resulting in a $17 billion expenditure loss to the local economy. Moreover, MWAA’s official estimates indicate that the exorbitant toll increases will force some 30,000 or more cars onto local roads next year when tolls double. Even allowing for a generous shift of travelers to Metrorail, 104,000 vehicles per day will likely divert to local roads by the end of the forecast period as tolls skyrocket and population and employment grow. The Dulles Toll Road will become an over-priced, under-utilized roadway better known as “The Highway of the One Percent.” Beyond the specific effects on toll road users, the skyrocketing tolls will limit or possibly even reverse the projected economic growth along the Dulles Corridor stimulated by the Silver Line. Increasingly cost-conscious employers are less likely to pay premium rents or even come to the corridor if their employees and customers face exorbitant toll costs to reach them. And families who anticipate the huge toll growth will be less inclined to move there or pay higher rents or home prices, especially outside the immediate Metrorail station areas. 1

Reston Citizens Association (RCA) and its community planning committee, the Reston 2020 Committee, have long held three core principles regarding the Silver Line:  The Silver Line should be built promptly to Dulles Airport with the three Restonarea stations as now planned.  The allocation of construction costs laid out in the 2004 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was a fair and reasonable one, including the 25% share to be paid by Dulles Toll Road users.  Given the current limited level of federal and state financing, those who will benefit most financially from the line’s construction should be the principal investors in it and the public infrastructure it will require.  MWAA will see more airline passengers and on-airport business development opportunities from the line’s construction,  Private landowners/developers will earn major profits on station area property sales and rentals, and  Local governments will garner extra revenues as those landowners' property values increase. We continue to believe these principles are reasonable, cost-effective, and fair.

Current vs. Reston 2020 Proposed Metrorail Silver Line Total Cost Shares
Funding Current Source Commitment --Federal $900.0M --Virginia $275.0M --MWAA (Av) & Counties $1,431.7M --Station area Landowners -0--Dulles Toll Road Users $3,120.0M $5,726.7M Current Share_ 15.7% 4.8% 25.0% 0% 54.5% Proposed Commitment $900.0M $275.0M $1,517.3M $1,517.3M $1,517.3M $5,726.7M Proposed Share__ 15.7% 4.8% 26.5% 26.5% 26.5%

MWAA and the county governments, station area landowners, and Dulles Toll Road users should share equally the otherwise unfunded costs of the Silver Line—1/3 each. With at least the $1.2 billion committed by federal and state authorities to construction of the Silver Line and the lingering possibility that some future incremental federal or state funding may be available for Phase 2, that means that each would contribute about $1.5 billion or 26.5% toward construction costs. To help ensure such an equitable arrangement, Secretary LaHood needs to include representatives from affected local civic groups, Including Reston Citizen Association, in the ongoing discussions. To do otherwise risks construction of the Silver Line and its intended role as a major economic driver for northern Virginia, whether or not PLAs are part of the package.

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Rail to Dulles and “The Highway of the One Percent” White Paper Reston Citizens Association Reston 2020 Committee May 9, 2012

Between the pontification of political leaders in Washington, Richmond, Fairfax, and Leesburg about the appropriate role of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in the Phase 2 Silver Line construction and the media’s endless frothing at the politicization of this, one would think that PLAs are the key issue in the completion of the Silver Line. They are not. From a cost perspective, opponents of rail to Dulles say it will probably add 10% or so to the cost of the contract. Proponents of the rail line say it probably will not, and yet it will help smooth the construction process and avoid cost overruns. They both may be right; they both may be wrong. Neither outcome will materially affect the final construction cost or long-term economic success of the line—nor should they be a driver in deciding whether to proceed promptly with Phase 2 of the Silver Line. Yet, even Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has fallen into this mis-directed imbroglio. What Secretary LaHood and the so-called “stakeholders” ought to be focusing on is equity, fairness, effectiveness, and ethics in financing the Silver Line: Nearly two-thirds of the cost of Phase 2 and over half the total cost of the line will be borne by Dulles Toll Road users under the current financial arrangement who receive virtually no benefit from its construction. The core issue is tolls and Dulles Toll Road users are the Silver Line’s principal financial stakeholders! The cost to toll road users will be more than $17 billion over the next four decades—predominantly for debt service on junk-rated MWAA toll road revenue bonds to finance the rail line—according to MWAA’s official forecast. Those costs will fall on between 100,000-150,000 current toll road users, about half of whom are from Fairfax County and a fifth from Loudoun County according to a 2009 survey of toll road users sponsored by Wilbur Smith & Associates, now CDM Smith. The result is an escalation of tolls from a one-way full toll of $1.25 in 2009 before MWAA started issuing rail-related bonds to $2.25 today to double that toll next year and triple today’s toll in 2018, and spiraling upward from there. Even in real 2012 dollar terms, tolls will quadruple from pre-rail financing levels by 2018 and sextuple a decade later with 2.5% inflation.

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$8.75 $6.67

$12.00 $8.00 $4.00 $2.00 $2.25 $6.00 $6.75 $5.82 $10.00 $4.50 $4.39

$10.75

$14.00

$12.75

$16.00

$14.75

$18.00

Forecast Toll

Real Toll ($2012 @ 2.5%/yr)

$7.76

$7.79

$16.75

$20.00

$0.00
2012 2013 2018 2023 2028 2033 2038 2043 2048

Source: CDM Smith Preliminary Traffic & Revenue Forecast, January 2012

Regular toll road users (two times per day, five days per week, 44 weeks per year) will see their annual toll costs skyrocket from less than $1,000 per year now in a similar manner, reaching over $8,000 in 2050, and more than $3,000 by 2028 in 2012 dollars.

$9,000 $8,000 $7,000 $6,000 $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $0

Annual Nominal and $2012 Toll Cost for Regular Dulles Toll Road User
Toll Costs per Year (44 Work Weeks) Inflation-Adjusted Toll Costs per Year (44 Work Weeks, 2.5%/Yr)

$7.24

$7.59

$8,250
$7,370 $6,490

$5,610
$4,730 $3,850 $2,970 $2,793 $3,033 $3,179 $3,251 $3,263

$1,980
$942 $770

2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 Source: CDM Smith Preliminary Traffic & Revenue Forecast, February 2012

$7.71

$18.75

Official Toll Forecast for the Dulles Toll Road, 2012-2050, Full One-Way Toll, Nominal and Real 2012 Prices

$3,228

2050

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Even with the continued solid growth in Fairfax County median household income over the last two decades enjoying relatively moderate inflation during that same period, the increased tolls will eat up nearly half of any real household income gains over the next 40 years. That is money that will not be going into the local economy and it is enough to discourage people from moving to or working in the Dulles Corridor. Why put your pay raise in the toll basket? Forecast Spending of Cumulative Real Disposable Household Income Gains for Median Income Household, Fairfax County, 2012-2048, Regular DTR Users
3.7% 3.1% 3.5% 1.7% 8.0%
We define a "regular toll road user" as a person who drives his/her vehicle twice a day, 5 days a week, 44 weeks per year, on the Dulles Toll Road. Median real Fairfax County real household income, now at $103,000 per year, is forecast to grow at 0.2% per year over the forecast period based on 2.8%/year nominal growth and 2.6%/year inflation growth from 19902010. Allocations based on BLS categories and CPI-US shares, February 2012. Reston 2020 Committee

21.3%

48.0%

8.8%

1.9%

Food & Beverage Transportation Recreation

Housing Toll Increases Educ. & Comm.

Apparel Medical Care Other

This will occur because toll costs will escalate from $0.16 per mile today—roughly consistent with the national average for this class of toll road—to $1.30/mile in 2050. That’s $0.38/mile in 2012 dollars— nearly two and one-half times the current national average toll cost per mile. With the astronomical projected tolls, anyone who could use Metrorail almost certainly would rather than taking the toll road. The only remaining toll road users will be coming from or going to places not served by Metrorail or they will have so much money they simply don’t care

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Dulles Toll Road Toll Cost per Mile, Full Length, Nominal and Inflation-Adjusted Base
$1.60

$1.40
$1.20 $1.00 $0.80 $0.60 $0.40 $0.20 $0.00 $0.16

Full Length Cost/Mile (Greenway-I495) Inflation-Adjusted Full Length Toll Cost/Mile ($2012 @ 2.5%/Yr) $1.30 $1.16
$1.02 $0.88 $0.74 $0.61 $0.47 $0.31 $0.20 $0.23 $0.26 $0.30 $0.34 $0.38

$0.18

2042

2012

2017

2022

2027

2032

2037

Indeed, one of the consequences of the exorbitant toll increases is that the Dulles Toll Road will virtually become “The Highway of the One Percent.” The modest toll increases since 2009 have already led to an eight percent decline in traffic even as the economy has been recovering. CDM Smith, MWAA’s official traffic and revenue forecaster, projects that ridership will drop 18% next year when tolls double—some 30,000 or so vehicles per day by our calculations out of the 150,000-200,000 vehicles that use the toll road daily based on 2010 Virginia traffic counts. Looking longer term, CDM Smith projects a 28% decline in toll road use from current levels in the 20102050 timeframe while Renaissance Planning Group, the socio-economic forecasting company that supported CDM Smith’s toll road traffic and revenue analysis efforts, forecasts a 36% increase in population and a 47% increase in jobs for the Silver Line’s primary market area over the same period. So the potential market for the toll road ought to increase by 26-37%—some 22,000-88,000 vehicles per day, an average of 55,000 per day—if (a) there was no Metrorail line and (b) tolls were to remain steady in 2012 dollar terms. Allowing for an optimistic 10% share of the 3.1 million new residents and employees in this primary market area using Metrorail or other travel means, the toll road will only serve 126,000 vehicles per day (potential range is 108,000-144,000 vehicles per day) out of a potential market of 230,000 vehicles per day.

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2047

Washington Metrorail Service Area, including Silver Line Primary Market Area

Source: Analysis of Population and Employment Forecasts for the Washington DC Region 2010-2040, Renaissance Planning Group, October 17, 2011, p.3.

That means an estimated average of 104,000 vehicles per day (a potential range of 86,000-122,000 vehicles per day) will divert to already clogged local roads in Fairfax and Loudoun counties by 2050 if the various underlying forecasts are accurate. So while toll road traffic probably ought to be increasing sharply in the next four decades, it will instead be declining by more than a quarter. The vehicles diverting from the toll road will do so because it is far too expensive, leaving the tollway to the one percent or so for whom the high tolls are meaningless and the extra minutes saved are valuable. (We welcome alternative estimates and explanations about these changes in traffic patterns from knowledgeable authorities— VDOT, MWAA, FCDOT, LCDOT, WMATA, or others—all of whom have been reluctant to offer them so far.) We believe this is an inefficient, unethical, inequitable, and unfair way to manage any public roadway, much less one that is such a vital transportation artery for western Fairfax County and eastern Loudoun County.

Aside from the tremendous traffic impacts, Virginia’s Governor and General Assembly have been discussing the “devolution” of road construction and maintenance costs to local jurisdictions—and not transferring state funds with it. The result could be large budget deficits for Fairfax and Loudoun counties and/or huge property tax increases to replace the funds the state will no longer provide and meet the transportation needs of their growing number of residents and employees. This is a potential unintended consequence that no official has publicly acknowledged so far, much less considered or begun to address.

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More broadly, this foolish approach to financing the Silver Line will erode its value as a driver of economic growth in either Fairfax or Loudoun County, although we cannot precisely quantify those effects. Indeed, it could be counter-productive. In this era of business cost-efficiency, employers will be unlikely to move to or pay higher rents for a location where the bulk of their employees face unusually high living costs—just to commute—in an area that already has a high cost of living. As recent corporate departures from the Dulles Corridor—including the departures from Reston of Accenture to Arlington and LaFarge North America to Chicago—indicate, cutting office space costs and having access to inexpensive transportation close to clients are today’s office location decision-drivers. Many families are likely to avoid taking up residence in the corridor area—especially beyond the immediate station areas—if they, too, face a high cost of commuting or otherwise drive on the toll road to sustain their lifestyles. They certainly are unlikely to pay premium prices to live there, especially outside the immediate station areas. If federal spending—payroll or contracts—continues to shrink as many believe it must, it could actually turn the Dulles Corridor’s anticipated economic expansion into a contraction for many years. The Reston Citizens Association—which represents the community’s 58,000 residents—and its Reston 2020 Committee, the committee charged with addressing Reston’s future with the goal of sustaining its quality of life, have been involved in advocating the construction of the Silver Line for years. That advocacy has been centered on three core principles:  The Silver Line should be built promptly to Dulles Airport with the three Restonarea stations as planned.  The allocation of construction costs laid out in the 2004 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was a fair, including the 25% to be paid by Dulles Toll Road users. It creates an incentive for drivers to shift to public transit.  In the face of limited federal and state financing, however, those who will benefit most financially from the line’s construction should be the principal investors in it and the public infrastructure it will require. We continue to believe these principles are reasonable, fair, and cost-efficient, yet current plans threaten to undermine all three principles. The failure of the federal and state governments to live up to the allocations laid out in the 2004 FEIS has left the local jurisdictions and Dulles Toll Road users holding the bag.  The US Government committed $900 million toward construction of Phase 1 and then bowed out, most recently rejecting a $1,950 million FY2012 TIFIA direct loan proposal from MWAA. Under the FEIS allocation, it was supposed to contribute 50% of the line’s construction, now about $2.9 billion.  The Virginia General Assembly and Governor have not yet lived up to their expected FEIS share to cover 25% of the line’s construction costs. The state has committed a total of $275 million (4.8%) under both Republican and Democrat governors. A possible $150 million contribution to Phase 2 financing is pending the resolution of the PLA dispute. The result is that the local so-called local “funding partners”—MWAA, Fairfax, and Loudoun—and toll road users have been forced to pick up the $3.1 billion shortfall in funding for the line’s construction. Rather than step up to the funding plate to meet the revenue shortfall, the funding partners decided in secret to stick toll road users with the added burden. There was no disclosure of the terms to the public, much less hearings, ahead of time. The result is that toll road users are now stuck with 55% of the total $5.7 billion cost of the line and 63% of the cost of Phase 2—about $1,766 million. 8

Shifting Overall Metrorail Silver Line Funding Commitments
Funding Source -Federal -Virginia -MWAA & Counties -DTR Users FEIS 2004 50% 25% 25% 25% Current Commitment $900.0M $275.0M $1,431.7M $3,120.0M $5,726.7M Current Share_ 15.7% 4.8% 25.0% 54.5%

Source: MWAA, Dulles Corridor Enterprise Update, March 29, 2012; 2004 FEIS, Chapter 8--Finance

The ongoing debate in Loudoun County whether to re-affirm its 4.8% funding commitment to Phase 2 ($275 million according to MWAA estimates) threatens to disrupt the agreement among the “funding partners” to pay even 25% of the line’s construction costs. According to senior Fairfax County transportation officials, there are no alternative plans if Loudoun withdraws from the current agreement. From a Loudoun County perspective, there are good reasons to doubt the value of Metrorail there as well as good reasons to proceed, but a decision by Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors not to continue should not disrupt Phase 2 construction plans, possibly for years. The failure of the several parties not to have developed contingency plans for this circumstance—and disclose them to the public—is a major leadership failure for this important public transit program. MWAA’s Calculation of Silver Line Construction Costs and Shares by Phase, March 2012

Source: MWAA, Dulles Corridor Enterprise Financial Update, March 29, 2012, p.9.

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Reston 2020 believes that, whether or not Loudoun County participates in funding Silver Line construction, a fair allocation of the cost consistent with RCA’s core principles is one in which those who are likely to benefit most financially from the line’s construction ought to be the most heavily invested in its success. In our view, that means the following financial allocation to cover construction costs not covered by federal or state assistance or other revenue sources:  MWAA and the participating counties should pay one-third of the costs out of their general internal revenue streams. This would include not only the costs officially in the project, but those recently shifted to the counties to cover stations and parking garages. This means additional MWAA funding from its Aviation Fund—various airport user fees—and fees from onsite businesses, and more general tax revenue (probably from property taxes) for the counties. They may wish to pro rate their current shares or negotiate a new allocation among themselves. Property owners in roughly the “half-mile circle”—the transit-oriented development (TOD) walking distance area—around each station should pay one-third of the costs through special tax districts. Fairfax County has adopted this approach to some extent, but capped the landowners’ contribution at $740 million, and it is applying that revenue to its own 16.1% share of the construction costs. Loudoun has not taken any such steps. Among the several approaches to generating this needed revenue, we believe the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) may be most effective. In brief, it taxes the incremental gain in property value of landowners in the affected areas at a higher rate to generate required revenues. Aside from the fairness of this overall approach, it offers the advantage that the two counties can borrow at much lower rates than MWAA because of their higher credit ratings, lowering overall financing costs for the line. Dulles Toll Road users should pay the remaining one-third of the otherwise unfunded costs of the rail line. At this time, that would lower their projected overall share of the cost of the Silver Line from 54.5% to 26.5%--nearly in line with the 2004 FEIS 25% allocation.

In this arrangement, each of the three parties would be contributing about $1.5 billion (26.5%) toward the currently estimated total cost of the Silver Line. These costs and shares would go down to the extent that additional federal or state funding might be forthcoming. They would go up to the extent that actual construction costs are higher than now estimated.

Current vs. Reston 2020 Proposed Metrorail Silver Line Funding Shares
Funding Current Source Commitment --Federal $900.0M --Virginia $275.0M --MWAA (Av) & Counties $1,431.7M --Station area Landowners -0--Dulles Toll Road Users $3,120.0M $5,726.7M Current Share_ 15.7% 4.8% 25.0% 0% 54.5% 10 Proposed Commitment $900.0M $275.0M $1,517.3M $1,517.3M $1,517.3M $5,726.7M Proposed Share__ 15.7% 4.8% 26.5% 26.5% 26.5%

Early adaptation of the RCA Reston 2020 Silver Line construction cost sharing allocation would help ensure that construction of the Silver Line would proceed largely on schedule at least as far as Dulles Airport. It would mean that Dulles Toll Road users would be paying a little more than one-quarter of the cost of the Silver Line, consistent with the arrangement defined in the 2004 FEIS. And it would mean that the entities that stand to gain the most from the Silver Line’s construction and operation would be paying a fair share of the line’s construction cost. Rather than “spending other people’s money,” MWAA, the counties, and the landowners would all be paying an investor’s version of user fees—sharing the cost to garner the long term benefits. And none of this would prevent the federal and state governments from living up to their earlier commitments, easing the burden on the other partners. Stakeholders in rail to Dulles must more equitably share the costs of the Silver Line or risk its construction and its intended role as a major economic driver for northern Virginia, whether or not PLAs are part of the package.

Both RCA Reston 2020 and MWAA have explored additional financing options that could further reduce the funding costs of local jurisdictions, landowners, and toll road users if implemented. In a paper published in April 2011 on the impact of the higher Metrorail construction costs, Reston 2020 recommended:  Tolling the Dulles Access Highway as “hot lanes.”  Increasing MWAA aviation passenger and freight fees. In a presentation to the MWAA Board in April 2011, MWAA’s staff offered several ideas for augmenting funding sources as well. These included aviation-related options, options involving the toll road, options involving the Commonwealth, and options involving federal assistance.

None of the participants in the planning of the Silver Line have pursued any of the proposals identified above.

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Appendix: What are the economic benefits of the Silver Line?

The principal driver in moving forward with the construction of the Silver Line from the perspective of the areas local jurisdictions has been the claim that it will stimulate economic growth and county revenues. A secondary consideration has been greater use of public transit and the possible associated reduction in road traffic growth and needed road construction and maintenance, which are largely funded by the state. The results of these studies have been diverse and the methods used in generating them controversial. Some look at county-wide economic development; others look at county government revenue impacts. None of them, in our view, provide a clear, well-supported argument for the positive economic impact of the Silver Line. In 2009, MuniCap prepared a county fiscal impact analysis (analysis of net county tax revenue gains/losses) in support of the Tysons Task Force. It projected that the county would earn an extra $1.2 billion in net tax revenues by 2030 and $5.3 billion by 2050. In a brief paper, Fred Costello, an officer in the Fairfax County Federation of Civic Associations, and member of the Fairfax County Taxpayer Alliance, pointed out that the study included only the continuation of current county road maintenance costs in the area. It did not cover road improvements nor debt service costs for roads nor employee or some new infrastructure operating costs. Now, the Planning Commission Tysons Committee is wrestling with the need for more than $2.1 billion in road improvement (in 2012 dollars) and other infrastructurerelated costs in the Tysons area by 2030, meaning that the County is likely to be more than $900 million in the hole if the balance of the MuniCap analysis is correct. In 2011 and again in 2012, the Robert Charles Lesser (RCL) commercial real estate firm provided the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors with a study and update of the impact of rail on its county revenues. Its update forecast a $386 million increase in tax revenues by 2040 from the arrival of Metrorail in Loudoun. Tim Hemstreet, the county’s administrator, noted in a letter forwarding the RCL report to the Board that it did not include necessary capital investments (such as roads). It also suggested the rail line would focus about 2/3s of the county’s forecast development in the rail station areas. RCL’s report itself indicates that there is no evidence that such rail lines increase the overall market, only that it increases development around stations. Tom Cranmer, a member of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance and a forensic economist, calculated that, with capital investments and associated financing costs included, the line would end up costing the county a net $711 million—a more than one billion dollar swing in the projected net fiscal impact for the county. Dr. Stephen Fuller, head of GMU’s Center for Regional Analysis, wrote in a recent paper in which he projects that the Silver Line would add $25 billion to Loudoun’s economy by 2040. He forecasts that the county’s gross product would rise from $21.2 billion in 2010 to $51 billion in 2020 with the addition of the Silver Line. By 2040, that figure would rise to $230.4 billion. Without rail, the county’s gross product would only reach $47.8 billion in 2020 and $204.8 billion in 2040.  Dr. Fuller is projecting a 9.2% per annum growth rate for Loudoun County through 2020 with Metrorail and 8.5% growth without, both more than double the growth forecast for Fairfax County over the same timeframe. In the face of the weak national economy (roughly 2.5-3.0% per year growth through the decade) and the expected impact of federal cost cutting locally, we 12

believe real annual growth in Loudoun above 2% per year and inflation above 3% per year is unrealistic.  Fuller also forecasts 7.8% and 7.5% annual growth rates with and without Metrorail respectively for the following twenty years. These, too, are probably optimistic with real growth probably less than 3% per year and inflation running at 3%/year or less.  We fail to understand why Fuller would forecast a 0.7% difference in Loudoun County’s average annual growth rate this decade between Metro and non-Metro choices when the incremental growth would only occur in the final two years of the decade—at most.  At the regional level, as recently as January, GMU CRA forecast the Washington area’s gross regional product to grow from $425 billion in 2010 to $774 billion in 2030. In this latest paper, using year old data, Fuller puts those sums at $429 billion in 2010 and $1,138 billion in 2030 without explaining the $364 billion jump in the region’s gross regional product forecast for 2030. These highly optimistic forecasts and unexplained changes erode the credibility of the latest report. Reston 2020 believes that the Silver Line will enhance development opportunities—commercial and residential—and general economic growth in the transit-oriented development (TOD) areas along the line. Those trends may extend beyond the TOD areas at a quickly diminishing rate, but we share the RCL report’s concern that the Silver Line will probably not stimulate large area (county or broader) economic growth. In fact, we believe it is an open question whether the economic gains made in the TOD areas— however modest— will come at the expense of declines in values and economic activity over the remainder of the larger areas. This outcome may lead to no net gain in county fiscal impacts as economic growth merely moves to TOD areas and other areas stagnate or decline. In this regard, we believe Reston is fortunate to be along the Silver Line and we anticipate the work of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force will help ensure that the rest of Reston beyond the TOD areas participates in the corridor’s economic growth.

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