The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board voted Wednesday to raise fees on the Dulles Toll Road.
Starting Jan. 1, 2013, drivers will pay 25 cents more at the main toll plaza and at on/off ramps for a total of $2.75. In 2014, the rates will rise to $3.50. But the board put off approving an increase for 2015, in hopes of securing alternative sources of funding.
“Certainly raising tolls is not a popular matter,” said Rusty Conner, chairman of the board’s finance committee. But he pledged a “full court press” to find ways to keep the rates as low as possible.
The toll increases, which have been expected, are needed in part to fund construction of the Dulles Rail extension, the 23-mile project to extend Metrorail from Falls Church to Tysons, Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.
Currently, drivers pay $1.50 at the main toll plaza and 75 cents at on/off ramps for a total of $2.25. The new rates will take effect Jan. 1 of each year.
The first phase of the Metro’s planned Silver Line, which will connect Falls Church to Reston, is expected to be finished in August 2013. Toll revenue is expected to fund more than half the $5.6 billion cost of building the rail line.
The meeting Wednesday was the first public gathering of the MWAA board since a federal inspector general’s audit found widespread problems with the authority’s contracting and personnel practices. At the meeting, the board also addressed some of the issues raised in the audit, voting to hold more of its audit committee meetings in public.