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Dulles Rail Gets Federal Approval
The Washington Post ^ | Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Amy Gardner and Lena H. Sun

Posted on 04/30/2008 1:27:27 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican

Federal transportation officials today told Congress and Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) that they have approved the proposed 23-mile extension of Metrorail to Dulles International Airport, reversing their announcement in January that the project was unfit for federal funding.

In a letter to Kaine and in a 10 a.m. conference call with the governor and Virginia congressional leaders, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said the $5 billion project had finally met the Federal Transit Administration's standards for cost efficiency, construction and expected ridership. The project will now move into the final design phase, a major step toward receiving $900 million in federal funding.

"As a result of the collaboration between federal and state officials, the project sponsor and other project stakeholders, the financial stability and oversight of the project has improved," Peters wrote to Kaine in a letter obtained by The Washington Post. "Cost reductions have been verified and mechanisms have been established to enhance inter-organizational cooperation, technical capacity and project management."

The news was met with widespread relief from Virginia politicians and business leaders, although there was also some upset from opponents of the aerial alignment of the rail line through busy Tysons Corner, where a debate over whether to dig a tunnel nearly derailed the entire project.

"Rail to Dulles is the single most important transportation investment that we can make in Northern Virginia," said Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "It's going to transform the 23-mile corridor into a transit-oriented corridor that will help change commuting patterns, and that's a good thing. It links Fairfax and Loudoun integrally into the Metro system, which is also a good thing. People are going to appreciate the payoff."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: bush; dcmetro; dot; dulles; federalspending; iad; marypeters; metro; rail; virginia

1 posted on 04/30/2008 1:27:28 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

2 posted on 04/30/2008 1:28:44 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican
"Rail to Dulles is the single most important transportation investment that we can make in Northern Virginia," said Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Then why doesn't the Northern VA/Washington DC governments/populations pay for it themselves? I mean, it must be going to pay for itself, no? After it's built with federal tax dollars (and I'm to the tune of six-figures/yr), if it turns a profit, who gets the proceeds?

3 posted on 04/30/2008 1:33:26 PM PDT by Ethrane ("semper consolar")
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To: MinorityRepublican

I always wondered why the Metro didn’t go to Dulles. I was guessing it was because it made too much sense or there’s wasn’t enough graft to be had.


4 posted on 04/30/2008 1:34:42 PM PDT by John Jorsett (scam never sleeps)
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To: Ethrane
After it's built with federal tax dollars (and I'm to the tune of six-figures/yr), if it turns a profit, who gets the proceeds?

It's not going to turn in a profit. No mass-transit system in the nation is self-sufficent.

5 posted on 04/30/2008 1:34:59 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: John Jorsett
I always wondered why the Metro didn’t go to Dulles. I was guessing it was because it made too much sense or there’s wasn’t enough graft to be had.

I think they should had done this in the beginning back in the '60s when they started building the metro.

6 posted on 04/30/2008 1:36:00 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Unlike roads and highways, which are big profit centers


7 posted on 04/30/2008 1:36:55 PM PDT by babble-on
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To: MinorityRepublican

Next up: LaGuardia


8 posted on 04/30/2008 1:38:22 PM PDT by babble-on
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To: MinorityRepublican

They still do not have National Airport named as Reagan National Airport on the metro map? I thought the Republican Congress really clamped down on the Democrat-run metro board to post it as such, a few years back? Looks like the Democrats there are still calling the shots, on what they want to do?


9 posted on 04/30/2008 1:38:59 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: MinorityRepublican
Oh great, my tax dollars at work funding another railroad to nowhere. Wouldn't be quite as bad if I were close enough to actually ride on it, but alas, it's 600+ miles away.

How about if just the people that ride on it pay for it. Is that too much to ask?

10 posted on 04/30/2008 1:41:43 PM PDT by meyer (Still conservative, no longer Republican)
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To: John Jorsett

This is one of the few areas where the People’s Republic of Maryland kicks Virginia’s ass. Look on the map MinorityRepublican kindly provided. The red line(going upper left) goes all the way to Shady Grove. Maryland knew that Metro was going to be profitable and help it’s citizens out immensely. Virginia, on the other hand, preferred to be frugal and save the money, versus investing in the infrastructure. It’s turned northern Virginia into a parking lot, and all VA does is take tax money out of NoVa and spend it in places other than NoVa. It’s a disgrace that FINALLY will be partially fixed, in another 20 years.


11 posted on 04/30/2008 1:44:54 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: meyer
How about if just the people that ride on it pay for it. Is that too much to ask?

If that's the case, no one would be willing to pay $10 round trip ticket each time they use the metro, thus that is why the transit system recieves subsidies.

12 posted on 04/30/2008 1:45:21 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: SengirV
Maryland knew that Metro was going to be profitable and help it’s citizens out immensely. Virginia, on the other hand, preferred to be frugal and save the money, versus investing in the infrastructure. It’s turned northern Virginia into a parking lot.

Normally, I do not like the government to waste money on public projects. Metro is the different story and like you said, living in a parking lot is hardly attractive to citizens.

So this is one of the rare instances where I'm in favor of increased government spending to accelerate the development in mass transit systems throughout the United States.

If we spend so much money on our highway system, why can't we pay a bit more to support trains? Anything that reduces our dependency on oil can't hurt either.

13 posted on 04/30/2008 1:51:10 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: rawhide

I ride the Metro everyday and everywhere I’ve seen it’s called the Reagan/National Airport. I don’t regonize the font for the posted Metro font, not sure where it came from.

As for the extension, here’s the problem:

The entire extension is in Virginia, however most of the people who will be using the extension all the way to Dulles won’t be Virginia residents. That is why VA/DC/MD all divide up the cost of paying the Metro.

Now I don’t like the fed paying for this either, the government can just use Reagan, but Reagan is a tiny airport that can’t expand at all while Dulles is huge and has plenty of room...that’s the only justification I can think of. Even then BWI takes in a lot of traffic too so I really don’t see a need.


14 posted on 04/30/2008 1:52:09 PM PDT by Raymann
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To: Ethrane
Then why doesn't the Northern VA/Washington DC governments/populations pay for it themselves?

Because NoVA's gasoline tax money was siphoned off and stolen to pave every cow path downstate.

15 posted on 04/30/2008 1:53:07 PM PDT by steve-b (Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. --RAH)
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To: SengirV

Again, the problem is that downstate pork-barrel politicians stole the money.


16 posted on 04/30/2008 1:54:20 PM PDT by steve-b (Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. --RAH)
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To: MinorityRepublican
If that's the case, no one would be willing to pay $10 round trip ticket each time they use the metro, thus that is why the transit system recieves subsidies.

That's a good reason NOT to build it. Now if the fine folks in that region want to pay out-of-pocket to build it, then let them.

17 posted on 04/30/2008 1:58:44 PM PDT by meyer (Still conservative, no longer Republican)
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To: steve-b
Because NoVA's gasoline tax money was siphoned off and stolen to pave every cow path downstate.

Was some of it siphoned off for the roads here in MO? I doubt it because I-70 SUCKS.

18 posted on 04/30/2008 2:47:42 PM PDT by Ethrane ("semper consolar")
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To: meyer
That's a good reason NOT to build it. Now if the fine folks in that region want to pay out-of-pocket to build it, then let them.

I agree....

With gas at $3.75 gallon and with the cost of parking over $10/day, a $10 R/T on the metro don't sound too bad.

I'm tired of people trying to justify 'pet projects' just because they are THEIR pet projects. If it can support itself, by all means build it and pay for it yourselves.

19 posted on 04/30/2008 2:50:13 PM PDT by Ethrane ("semper consolar")
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To: SengirV
If you look at maps from the 60’s you would find that much of Virginia out side the beltway was farm land. Most of the suburbs on the North and northwest sides of the beltway (within 2mi and inside) were already built. Rockville was an independent city before it was swallowed up by sprawl. Most of the surface streets (especially radial arteries) in MD are sized to accommodate greater traffic than the roads in VA are (not to mention the lights seem to be timed better).
20 posted on 04/30/2008 3:41:37 PM PDT by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
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To: meyer
Would your state agree to return its’ highway, water, and air transportation subsidies?
21 posted on 04/30/2008 3:49:14 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: rawhide
The official Metro map does say Reagan National:

http://www.wmata.com/metrorail/systemmap.cfm

22 posted on 04/30/2008 3:55:26 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: Fraxinus
That's Rockville where I grew up. I remember back in the '80s, it wasn't that densely populated and getting around was not bad at all. But now? Forget it, especially driving on Rockville Pike where bumper to bumper traffic exists.

By the way, Rockville is the third largest city in Maryland after Baltimore and Germantown. Sure there are many places bigger than Rockville like Bethesda and Silver Spring but they are not zoned cities.

23 posted on 04/30/2008 3:57:32 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: iowamark

You’re right. Personally, I prefer to call it the National Airport. If we have to name it after a person, I would much rather call it George Washington Airport, which the city is named after, of course.


24 posted on 04/30/2008 4:00:51 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Bttt


25 posted on 04/30/2008 4:25:12 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Bttt


26 posted on 04/30/2008 4:25:18 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Fraxinus

So what’s the excuse for the 80s and 90s?


27 posted on 04/30/2008 8:31:45 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: SengirV

Northern Virginia was not politically powerful until just now. Finally demographics are in their favor.


28 posted on 04/30/2008 8:40:52 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Fairfax county wasn’t politically powerful??????

Loudoun, that I could see. But Fairfax? Come on.


29 posted on 04/30/2008 9:13:28 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: SengirV

If I’m not mistaken, Maryland invested some of their funds into metro in the dc suburbs while Virginia refused to do the same.


30 posted on 05/01/2008 1:12:27 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Yep. Virginia chose to build more highways instead. Now they have all turned into parking lots.


31 posted on 05/01/2008 2:22:25 PM PDT by SengirV
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