Virginia Toll Road Costs Commuters $40 Each Way Just to Go to Work
In the past, we’ve taken a look at some of the most expensive tolls roads in the United States, but Virginia has blown that list away with a 10-mile toll road costing solo commuters nearly $40 each way.
The beltway of Interstate 66 transports commuters to and from Northern Virginia and downtown Washington D.C. Unlike some toll roads, the price changes based on traffic congestion and the time of day in an effort to keep traffic moving consistently at 55 mph. Every six minutes, there is a price shift. Of course, while this makes sense in theory, there are thousands upon thousands of commuters making their way into and out of the capital every morning and evening. Tuesday morning, commuters were outraged when traffic drove the price up to $40 each way – hitting a solid $4 per mile.
Virginia transportation officials, including Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne, actually seem to be pleased with the spike in price. “No one has to pay a toll,” said Layne. “You simply could have put another person in your car and avoid a toll. This is fair to everyone because everyone has a choice. And that is why we did this. We wanted to change behavior, we don’t have the resources to continue to lay asphalt and have congested roadways.”
While vehicles carrying more than one person can use the road for free, it’s a bit naive to say that you could’ve just “put another person in your car” to avoid paying the fee. Not everyone has the option of bringing along another passenger. We don’t all share a fence line with our coworkers, and our kids’ schools would object if we suddenly tried to make every day “Take Your Child to Work Day.”
As it stands, the tolls do not have a capping price point. Prices are free to skyrocket as high as the systems would like.
Prince William County’s newly elected delegate, Danica Roem, was sworn in on Wednesday. Throughout her campaign, she has advocated for commuters in her home state. “They’re telling me at 6 o’clock in the morning, they’re sitting in bumper to bumper on 66, coming up to the 495 spur,” Roem told Washington Top News. “If you have to be on 66 at 5 in the morning [to avoid paying a toll] that becomes a quality of life issue.” While in office, Roem plans to propose the widening of I-66 and the addition of more transportation options.
Commuters are up in arms over the increased tolls, with many of them taking to Twitter to express their frustrations.
The tolls on I-66 are being increased so only the 1% can afford to use it.
Time to get that Private Jet. https://t.co/MhFCLUvOeJ
— James Ayers (@Ayers111) December 4, 2017
“I can’t make a case to defend the highest toll in the nation,” Roem said.
Meg Thomson is a writer, photographer, blogger, and activist. When she isn’t writing, Meg can be found immersing herself in television scripts, adopting and playing with animals, or updating lists of her dream travel destinations (the list never ends). Meg believes writing is power, and equality is essential. She is determined to make a difference in the world, one word at a time. See more articles by Meg.