County Sends Letter on Dulles Rail Project to FTA

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Jan. 28, 2008

Fairfax County Sends Letter on Dulles Rail Project to FTA

In a letter to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator James S. Simpson, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors exhorted the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the FTA to take a detailed appraisal of Governor Timothy M. Kaine’s response to indications that the FTA was likely to declare the Rail to Dulles Project unfit for federal funding. “We trust,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly in the letter on behalf of the board, “that you will reach the same conclusion as we have – that the expansion of the Metrorail system to Dulles merits, and needs, the funding support of the federal government.”

Connolly called the Dulles Rail Corridor, “the economic engine of Northern Virginia. Facilitating the movement of residents, customers and employees throughout that area would only further help the entire region prosper. The Metrorail extension to Dulles is a critical step for providing multi-modal and comprehensive transit options to the residents of Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.”

The letter cited recent polling data showing that more than nine in 10 adults living in Northern Virginia favor an extension of Metrorail to Dulles International Airport. The proposed Metro Silver Line would alleviate traffic congestion in an area recently cited as having the second worst traffic in the nation. In turn, this would result in significant environmental and quality-of-life improvements.

An extension of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority Metrorail System into the Dulles corridor has been contemplated for more than four decades. During the last 10 years, major exploratory and design work has been completed. Submission for funding through the FTA’s New Starts program was among the final steps toward moving rail to Dulles from the drawing boards to reality.

“This project has been the county’s highest transportation priority since 1999,” pointed out Connolly. “Funding to assist this project will bring innumerable benefits to the entire region and moves us forward after years of progress.”


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