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More Steam For Rail

Amy Gardner

Increasingly impatient with the silence emanating from the Federal Transit Administration, the Dulles Corridor Rail Association will publish a full-page, $100,000 ad in The Washington Post tomorrow reminding the FTA and the public just how important they view the proposed $5-plus billion extension of Metro to Dulles Internatonional Airport.

"We're ready to ride," states the ad, which supporters described as "positive," and which also states: "The Dulles Metrorail has never had so much support."

At issue, of course, is more than just an extension of public transit. The rail line will open up vast swaths of commercial property to high-end, high-rise development. And property owners, who in some cases have been waiting years to develop their land, are growing weary of waiting.

"Really, the most powerful thing is at the bottom," said Jonathan Cherner of Cherner Automotive, who helped pull the effort together. "We have probably 150, 200 names. They are the names of the major landowners. They are not Bill Smiths or Bob Joneses. They are major employers and major stakeholders in the whole area. The list, it literally is so powerful."

The ad represents the first public effort to advocate for the rail line in many weeks. State and local officials, as well as supporting congressional leaders, have been quiet in an effort to let the FTA do its work of analyzing the project and deciding whether to approve it. The approval is necessary for the project to receive $900 million in federal funding, without which the extension will die.

FTA officials have said they expect to announce whether the project meets agency cost-efficiency standards this month or next.

By Amy Gardner  |  January 9, 2008; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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They should study if it would be cheaper to just build a new airport in anacostia.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

If the FTA kills the project they need to skip Tysons Corner and send it right down the middle of the toll road. Tysons Corner isn't walkable and I don't think it ever will be even with 4 metro stops.

5 Billion would likely be better spent on a combination of new roads and better express bus service.

5 Bln is enough to make all of the major Potomac bridges double decker like they have in NYC.

Posted by: R. Timm | January 10, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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