Va. transportation panel to discuss measure asking for I-66 toll changes

WASHINGTON — As tolls for solo drivers on the new Interstate 66 express lanes inside the Capital Beltway spiked to as high as $40 in the first few days of operation, a Republican member of a key Virginia transportation panel said he plans to introduce a measure calling for immediate changes to the tolling.

The resolution, put together by Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer, is set to be introduced Thursday before the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, which receives the toll revenue.

The measure asks the state to immediately lower and cap I-66 tolls and to return to the previous rush-hour period of 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., when High Occupancy Vehicle restrictions were in place.

The new toll system is in place from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In the draft resolution, Meyer contends the Virginia Department of Transportation “never told the public or this commission about this extremely high level of tolling before implementation.”

Meyer’s resolution calls for Virginia authorities to “immediately lower, cap, and reconfigure” the I-66 tolls.

“Working Virginians cannot afford tolls more than $35, $20, or even $10 each way every day,” the resolution stated.

Karen Finucan Clarkson, a spokeswoman for the transportation commission, said Meyer’s resolution is not yet on the panel’s official agenda but is expected to be taken up at the commission’s meeting Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The Washington Post first reported on the draft resolution.

Tolls on the lanes fluctuate with traffic. On Wednesday, they fluctuated from $6.75 to $23.50. The Virginia Department of Transportation’s toll calculator lets drivers see what they’ll pay.

VDOT officials have maintained that proposals, such as capping tolls, would be counterproductive since the toll amounts are determined by an algorithm designed to keep I-66 lanes inside the Beltway free of congestion during the rush-hour periods.

They point to statistics showing that the…

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