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Va transport panel. To analyze the measure requesting toll changes I-66

WASHINGTON – While tolls for solo conductors on the new express lanes of Interstate 66 within the Capital Beltway rose to as high as $ 40 in the first days of operation, a Republican member of a key transport panel of Virginia He said he plans to introduce a measure that calls for immediate changes to the toll.

The resolution, prepared by Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer, will be presented Thursday to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, which receives toll revenues.

The measure is requested by indicating to immediately lower and close the I-66 tolls and return to the previous peak hour period of 6:30 a.m. 9 a.m., when the restrictions for high occupation vehicles were in force.

The new toll system is in effect from 5: From 30 a.m. at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 7 pm

In the draft resolution, Meyer argues that the Virginia Department of Transportation "never told the public or this commission about this extremely high toll level before implementation."

Meyer's resolution requires the Virginia authorities to limit and reconfigure "I-66 tolls.

" Virginia residents can not pay tolls over $ 35, $ ​​20 or more. even $ 10 per trip every day, "said the resolution.

Karen Finucan Clarkson, a spokeswoman for the transportation committee, said Meyer's resolution has not yet been on the official agenda of the panel, but is It is expected to be addressed at the commission meeting on Thursday at 7:30 pm

The Washington Post first reported on the draft resolution. [19659005] Lane tolls fluctuate with traffic. fluctuated between $ 6.75 and $ 23.50 The toll calculator from the Virginia Department of Transportation allows drivers to see what they will pay.

VDOT officials have maintained that proposals, such as limiting tolls, would be counterproductive since amounts of The tolls are determined by an algorithm designed to maintain I-66 lanes within the congestion-free bypass during peak hours.

They point to statistics that show that tolls have achieved that purpose. During the morning rush hour on Monday morning, the average speed on I-66 speed lines was 57 mph, more than 37 mph compared to the previous year.

Prior to the start of the toll Monday, single drivers were excluded from the lanes

At a meeting of the Commonwealth Transportation Board on Wednesday morning, Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne indicated that the immediate changes in the toll process would be premature.

"There are some things that can be adjusted, but not" I think we should do something "for at least a month or two, Layne said, so planners in his office have enough time to study how drivers are using the lanes and what adjustments they have made, said Layne.

Why did toll rates rise so much in the first days of operation? Until now, it seems that there are more people sharing the car, which increases the rates toll for individual drivers, said Layne.

"Hurray, that's what we want," he said. "We want more people through the corridor. So hurray. Squeezing the individual drivers, that's the policy. The other thing that could make it go up, is that people are willing to pay. They're just willing to pay more to use that privilege. "

Responding to charges that his office had not anticipated the sky-high toll fees, Layne said his office had been careful not to make promises about how high it was. In part, that's because the tolls are based on a traffic demand that's hard to predict, but Layne said he had asked his deputy to come back and check his office's prior notice. 19659005] "If someone from the VDOT or I communicate badly, look, I am responsible and I will be responsible for it. I do not think that's the case, but if it is, so be it. "

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