WASHINGTON – (WMAL) A high-powered group of CEOs in the D.C. region is proposing the region work together to coordinate its tolling systems. The Greater Washington Partnership, in a report set to be released Wednesday morning, is calling for the 35 tolling facilities either in operation, under construction, or in the planning stages throughout Maryland and Virginia to operate as one interconnected system.
Roads that are already tolled in the region, like Interstate 66 inside the Beltway, the Dulles Toll Road, and the Intercounty Connector, all operate independent of one another, with different price structures illustrating different priorities, Partnership CEO Jason Miller said.
“Every day, 50 percent of our region’s residents cross a jurisdictional boundary, and 20 percent cross state lines in their commute from home to work,” he said. “This is a once every 20-year-type opportunity for dealing with congestion issues that are only forecasted to worsen.”
Joe McAndrew, the Partnership’s Transportation Policy Director, laid out parameters that appeared similar to those already in effect on I-66, including prioritizing HOV and transit use.
“Performance-driven tolling, as we define it, is one of the best tools we have, when deployed correctly, to reduce congestion,” he said.
To commuters wary about paying more to get around, he emphasized that congestion was already costing drivers money in lost time and business.
“An average commuter loses $1,845 per year. That represents the highest cost in the nation,” he said.
The Partnership is led by 21 CEOs of the region’s largest employers.
The proposal calls for reinvesting toll revenues into public transportation.
“The reality is our transportation system has not kept up with our needs,” Miller said. “Furthermore, it risks holding back our potential going forward.”
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