Dulles Airport’s Authority Board of Directors approved an underground stop for the Silver Line Metro last week, adding a one-year delay to the expected completion of the line.
The Dulles stop is the last of a two-phase project to connect Metro service from East Falls Church to Tyson’s Corner, later including Dulles and Loudoun County, Va. Phase two, originally expected to be finished in 2016, has now been rescheduled for completion in 2017 due to the change from an above-ground to an underground stop.
“Plans for the Silver Line began in the 1960s?but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the political, business and residential wills all came together to actually get the project going,” Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Communications Director Marcia McAllister said. “It has been a very long process.”
The first phase of the Silver Line, service from East Falls Church to Tyson’s Corner, should be completed at a cost of about $3.1 billion. Phase two, which would include service to Dulles and Loudoun County, Va., should be completed by 2017 and cost an additional $3.5 billion, McAllister said.?
“The primary reason for our push back of phase two was that we were waiting to see where the location [at Dulles] would actually be, and now our engineers can start working out the specific designs,” McAllister said.
While students are already able to take the Blue Line Metro to Reagan National Airport, many still opt to take alternative transportation to Dulles or Baltimore Washington International Airport due to typically cheaper flights. Both are inaccessible by Metro.
“If there was a Metro stop to Dulles I would absolutely use it,” sophomore Alana Murphy said. Murphy also pointed out that Metro access would also allow her to compare the costs of flights at Reagan and Dulles without factoring in the additional costs of transportation.
SuperShuttle, a transportation service commonly used to get to and from airports, costs a minimum of $25 to go from Foggy Bottom to Dulles. The trip from Foggy Bottom to Reagan on the Metro ranges from $1.60 to $2.80, depending on time of day and if a SmarTrip is used.
“I mean, I think it’s great that you’ll be able to take the Metro to Dulles, but I wish I would be able to use it before I graduate,” freshman Kathleen Gilliland said.
Of the total $7.2 billion budgeted for the project, only $900 million of the funding will come from the federal government, and that must be spent on phase one, not phase two. The rest of the funding will come from state and local governments as well as the revenue generated by Dulles’ Toll Road in the airport.