Skip to comments.$17 tolls? VDOT says 1st day on I-66 averaged $14.50 round trip
Posted on 12/29/2017 10:38:32 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
WASHINGTON About two years ago, during the last big debate over Interstate 66 rush-hour tolls for solo drivers, there was a lot of talk about $17 round-trip tolls. Virginias transportation secretary said this week that the tolls drivers have seen inside the Beltway so far remain in line with those projections.
New data the Virginia Department of Transportation provided Thursday from the first day of tolls on Monday morning show the average morning toll for drivers who paid with an E-ZPass, or who will get automated violation notices in the mail, was $10.70, while the average afternoon toll paid was $3.80 on day one. A VDOT news release highlighted the average of a $14.50 round-trip as a counterpoint to those complaining about the high posted prices at the busiest times of rush hour.
In the morning rush hour Monday (5:30-9:30 a.m.), VDOT says, about one-third of vehicles paid less than $10 to use the road, while 38 percent of drivers rode free with an E-ZPass Flex switched to HOV mode to indicate that there was at least one other person in the car. That would leave about 28 percent, or 3,700 drivers, who paid more than $10 Monday morning.
When the $17 toll estimates were being discussed, Virginia transportation leaders bounced back and forth at times between describing the projected $9 tolls eastbound in the morning and $8 tolls westbound in the afternoon as the high-end of likely prices paid, or as the average price that drivers who chose to pay a toll would pay, given that many do not use the entire stretch of road between the Beltway and Rosslyn.
Eventually, they ended up describing the toll projections as the average price that would be paid by drivers, but the presentation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board as it approved the projects in December 2015 predicted the average toll paid would be around $6.
I remember those as being the average toll to be used, Aubrey Layne said Tuesday. I dont remember them as the maximum toll dynamic pricing is driven by how people use the road.
Layne pushed back on claims that the McAuliffe administration, or the preceding administrations which put the project in motion, had promised a cap on tolls.
I dont believe thats an accurate statement, that people were misled. I am sure therell be some political people that will say whatever, but Weve made it clear: estimates, we wouldnt know until it was actually done, and the models that we were looking at are pretty close to what were seeing today, Layne said.
VDOT has declined to provide the overall average toll prices paid beyond Mondays commutes so far, but said some drivers have paid as little as 50 cents to travel one of the four tolling segments. The highest posted toll so far for the entire stretch between the Beltway and Rosslyn was $40 for one six-minute period Tuesday, but the department could not say whether anyone actually paid that price. A VDOT spokeswoman said it takes several days to process the data on average tolls and pricing.
VDOT said 39 vehicles paid the highest posted toll on Monday of $34.50, out of 13,473 vehicles that used some part of I-66 eastbound inside the Beltway during the morning rush. 5,082 vehicles had an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode to indicate that there were at least two people in the car and get a free ride.
In the afternoon rush Monday, 16,307 vehicles used the westbound stretch of I-66 between Rosslyn and the Beltway; 4,964 of those had an E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode.
In a release, VDOT said there is no evidence of additional delays Monday during either rush hour on Monday due to spillover traffic onto Route 50, Route 29 or Route 7, but the agency acknowledges the roads have faced other issues this week due to crashes or Beltway backups. VDOT also said traffic on I-66 is moving faster and more consistently this week than during the shorter rush hour periods a year ago.
One group that Layne acknowledged faces changes under the new tolling and HOV rules through no fault of its own is solo drivers who used to ride during hours that fell outside the old HOV hours. The hours expanded Monday from two and a half to four hours each way.
I would say thats the one group that really has been a change, but you know what? The whole algorithm is based on making sure everything works together. If we wouldnt have had expanded hours, that would have meant the tolls would have been even higher during the periods in which they were given, Layne said.
The changes also eliminated exemptions to the HOV rules for traffic to and from Dulles Airport, and for certain drivers of older hybrid vehicles.
The tolls are market-driven, and weve always said theyre going to be how people use them. Theres going to be a point where somebody says Its not worth it to do that, and, quite frankly, if you dont want to pay it, its pretty simple: Put somebody else in your car, Layne said.
Drivers who do meet the HOV requirements need an E-ZPass Flex transponder flipped to HOV mode in order to get the free ride toward Rosslyn from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or toward the Beltway from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Layne is satisfied with how the tolls are helping to manage traffic.
No Carmageddon; everythings moving that means buses and transit are now on schedule. None of this impact to the side roads I know everybodys got their own anecdotal perception, but were tracking that, Layne said. From a traffic perspective, the algorithm looks like it is correct.
VDOT is working to widen eastbound I-66 by fall 2020 between the Dulles Connector Road and Ballston. Construction work is due to begin in the next few months on the $85.7 million contract; the work will also widen bridges and ramps and add noise barriers.
See, if you move urban, you won’t pay so much, and you can use public transit.
$17.00 will pay for an alternate route.
After four full days of Express Lanes on I-66 Inside the Beltway, the Virginia Department of Transportation reports that morning and afternoon commutes on Monday, Dec. 4, were faster than the same time last December.
The average round-trip toll price during peak hours was $14.50, with the average morning toll during peak hours of $10.70 and average afternoon toll during the peak hours of $3.80. This toll rate during peak hours is lower than the estimated average toll rate of $17.00 during peak hours discussed in 2015, as shown in the table.
Further analysis of the Monday morning rush hours indicates the following:
· A total of 13,473 vehicles used I-66 Inside the Beltway between the hours of 5:30-9:30 a.m.;
· Of this total 5,082 or 38% were carpoolers who traveled free;
· Only 39 vehicles, or 0.29%, paid the posted highest toll of $34.50;
· 34% of vehicles paid less than $10; and,
· Travel times were 10-12 minutes compared with 15-30 minutes last December.
Further analysis of the Monday afternoon rush hours indicates the following:
· A total of 16,307 vehicles used I-66 Inside the Beltway between the hours of 3:00-7:00 p.m.;
· Of this total 4,964 or 30% were carpoolers who traveled for free; and,
· Travel times were 10-12 minutes compared with 10-20 minutes last December.
Contrary to the continued political rhetoric of critics, I-66 Inside the Beltway Express Lanes tolls have been based on sound planning and with the ultimate goal of improving travel for everyone, said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. We want to move more people, improve connectivity and provide additional travel choices. This is about unlocking gridlock on I-66 as Governor McAuliffe pledged.
Additional data from Monday commute shows that travel on parallel routes such as Route 50, Route 29 and Route 7 were either similar or improved compared with last December. There was an incident that closed two of three lanes of traffic on Route 50 Monday evening that resulted in longer travel times for a period of time. Detailed travel time charts for these routes along with Interstate 66 are included at the end of this release.
VDOT is committed to transparency in the operation of the Interstate 66 Express Lanes and will release similar information over the coming days. VDOT is responsible for operating and maintaining the I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway. A period of approximately three days is needed for tolling operators to process each vehicle trip on the Express Lanes, which provide information such as traffic volumes and toll pricing.
The Express Lanes, which allow any solo driver the ability to use I-66 Inside the Beltway legally for the first time ever during rush hours, are part of a comprehensive multimodal set of improvements to the I-66 corridor. Other key elements, which are moving ahead, include widening I-66 from the Dulles Toll Road to Ballston, and continued investments in new transit service and other services like carpooling incentives.
Update on I-66 Eastbound Widening Initiative:
On Thursday, Dec. 7, VDOT awarded an $85.7 million contract to Lane Construction Corporation of Chantilly to add an additional through lane along four miles of eastbound Interstate 66 between the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) and Fairfax Drive (Route 237) in Fairfax and Arlington Counties.
The project includes ramp modifications at Exits 69 and 71, rehabilitation and/or repairs to bridges, construction of noise barriers eastbound and westbound and widening bridges and constructing a new grade-separated crossing of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail at Lee Highway.
Additionally, an auxiliary lane will be added to the existing I-66 eastbound exit ramp and a slip ramp will be constructed from the I-66 eastbound exit ramp to the Route 7 southbound entrance flyover ramp, providing more direct access to the West Falls Church Metro Station Parking Garage.
The additional eastbound lane will be open to traffic in fall 2020 and the overall project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.
Update on I-66 Commuter Choice Program and New Transit Services and Multimodal Improvements Benefitting I-66 Corridor:
Toll revenue generated from the I-66 Inside the Beltway Express Lanes supports the I-66 Commuter Choice Program run by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. All toll revenues after operating costs will be allocated to transit and other multimodal initiatives that provide a direct benefit for those who travel on the I-66 corridor by the Commission.
In July 2016, the Commonwealth approved $10 million to fund the initial group of multimodal improvements for I-66 Inside the Beltway. This proactive approach allowed VDOT, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, local government and key stakeholders to advance ten meaningful multimodal projects that will ultimately move an extra 5,000 people through the corridor each morning.
The initial projects, which are in effect now, encompass Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington counties and the City of Falls Church. Transit services include three new bus routes, increased service on two existing routes and last-mile connections to Metrorail stations, new bikeshare stations near Metro, as well as a new park-and-ride lot in Aldie that will support current and future bus service. Additional projects launched include real-time traveler information and transportation demand management services that provide incentives to use transit or carpools.
The process to identify and select the next set of multimodal improvement projects is underway currently. Local governments have until Dec. 22, 2017, to submit projects for consideration. The Commission is expected to vote on its recommendations in the Spring, with final action by the Commonwealth Transportation Board shortly thereafter.
Article in Reply #4 from Alexandria News.org
They will lie their azzes off. Trust but verify at least ten times.
By Kerry Clines
A groundbreaking ceremony on Monday marked the beginning of a $3.7 billion dollar highway project that will expand Interstate 66 to 10 lanes three regular and two express lanes in each direction outside of the Beltway in northern Virginia, wtop.com reports. The project includes plans for major interchange improvements, park-and-ride lots, and accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians.
During the event, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe praised the public-private partnership that has Express Mobility Partners designing, building, operating and maintaining the Express Lanes in exchange for toll revenues for at least 50 years. We are now transforming the most congested area, the most congested road in the United States of America, he said, according to the news agency, adding that the private consortium is tapping private and federal government transportation loans so no taxpayer money would be used on the project.
We are taking a significant step today about moving more people, giving them more travel options so that they can go faster and more [reliably] on all different modes of transportation on I-66.
Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said the express lanes would reduce congestion and increase reliable travel times. Our goal here is to move more people through the I-66 corridor, and the improvements were putting in place today will do just that, Layne said, according to the news agency.
The Express Lanes will rely on dynamic pricing tolls will rise based on demand, with rising prices intended to avert some traffic to keep the lanes flowing. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
By: Virginia Business
Construction is set to begin soon on the widening of Interstate 66 outside the Beltway.
The public-private partnership will include $3.7 billion in transportation improvements to the Interstate 66 corridor in Northern Virginia.
Plans include adding two express lanes in each direction alongside three regular lanes from the Beltway to University Boulevard near Route 29 in Gainesville. The express lanes will include tolls that vary depending on traffic conditions. The project will include space in the median that will be reserved for future transit.
The project also includes 4,000 park and ride spaces, new and expanded commuter bus service throughout the corridor, safety and operational improvements at key interchanges, auxiliary lanes between interchanges, and bicycle and pedestrian paths and connections.
Under a 50-year partnership agreement, I-66 Express Mobility Partners (I-66 EMP) assumes responsibility for all costs to design, build, operate and maintain the 66 Express Lanes. It requires EMP to pay $800 million for transit service in the corridor and $350 million in other projects to improve the I-66 corridor over the next 50 years.
I-66 EMP is a consortium of Cintra, Meridiam Infrastructure, John Laing Group Plc. and APG, and their design-build contractor, FAM Construction LLC, a partnership between Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers.
The projects financial close was reached on Nov. 9, securing the funding necessary to move forward.
I-66 EMP also will give the commonwealth a payment of $579 million to fund additional transportation improvements in the corridor. With input from local jurisdictions, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority developed a list of recommended transportation projects for funding from this concession payment, which will be voted on in January 2018 by Virginias Commonwealth Transportation Board.
Among the recommended projects that the board will consider are an interchange at Route 234 and Balls Ford Road in Prince William, capacity improvements on the VRE Manassas line, and a new bus facility in Manassas.
Today marks the beginning of the transformation that will take place on I-66 Outside the beltway over the next several years, Javier Gutierrez, CEO for I-66 Express Mobility Partners, said in a statement. When completed in 2022, we will be moving more people and offering more travel options on a safer and more efficient highway, and this will directly contribute to enhanced quality of life for people on this vital transportation corridor.
It is beyond my comprehension that anyone would willingly or want to live in an area like that, with that kind of traffic EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Sorta like Willie Sutton being asked why he robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is!”
AND pay some $15 per work day for the experience....
Consider the following:
How does this translate into reality?
How does this compare? For example, a couple of years ago I hired a system administrator with the above specs in Memphis Tennessee...and paid him $65K per year. At the same time, I had a couple of SysAds in Los Angeles County (same specs as above) and paid them an average of $80K each. And, by the way, these folks counted themselves lucky.
Bottom line: people will put up with a lot to be able to provide well for their families.
A socialists utopia where the rich (middleclass) continues to pay for everything
Socialist? Maybe, but not as much as you'd think. There are 3,306,400 people who get a paycheck within the DC metro area. 701,600 of them are on a government (federal -- including military, state, local) payroll. (21%)
In other words, 79% of the people in this area who get paychecks don't get a paycheck from the government. So I wouldn't call it "socialist" per se, though the rate is higher than the country as a whole (15% of the employed population in this country get their paychecks from federal, state, local governments)
The great thing about tolls is that they’re only used to pay for the highway. So if it’s $40 to travel 10 miles, that must be one hell of a highway - maybe gold-lined?
If some young reporter wants to turn over a few stones, they’d put in a Freedom of Information Act request to find out who gets to ride these tolls lanes for free.
I’d suspect most of the ‘movers and shakers’ in DC, along with their spouses and secretaries. For starters.
Been there, done that, soooo glad to be somewhere else where the cost of living is low, free recreational opportunities abound, nature is all around and I know and like my neighbors.
This does provide a window into the life priorities of the folks running things in this country.
Move the nation's capitol to flyover country and get this nation back on track!
And the standard of living is much higher, too.
You’re not talking about places where a three bedroom, two story house with a full basement, an attic, a dining room, a living room and a den and a very large garage (bard actually) are on the lot, can go for $120,000 AND you don’t have to pay $15 a day just for the *privilege* of fighting rush hour traffic every day just to go to that job.
We know and trust our neighbors and packages are left outside without worry about theft. Many people in our little town don’t even lock their doors.
Some things are just not worth the money and some things are beyond price.
AND pay some $15 per work day for the experience....
Heck you’d have to be a government employee to afford that! /s
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