Private Rail?

The state of Virginia is hoping to turn over the building of a private rail line from Falls Church to Dulles International Airport.

It would be the first time a Metro segment was not built by the public transit agency. Virginia officials call it an innovative plan that would save tax dollars and set an example for other transit projects across the country. Opponents say it is a sole-source deal that would benefit Bechtel Corp. and Washington Group International, which entered into a partnership to build the rail line.

It's hard to tell from the article whether the rail line would be truly private or simply "private" in name, but it's something to keep an eye on.

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Metro's consent is needed

Metro's consent is needed because it would ultimately own and operate the line.


In this case, the partnership agrees to build the project at a "firm, fixed price" that includes a built-in profit margin, said Karen Rae, director of the state's Department of Rail and Public Transportation.


In the Dulles case, the public would provide the money for the rail project. The federal government would pay 50 percent, and state and local governments would pay the rest. The local share would come from a special tax district in the Dulles corridor and the state's share from tolls paid by motorists who travel the Dulles Toll Road. The federal government has not decided whether to fund the project.

Privatization this is not, assuming Metro is a public agency. It's a step in the right direction, though.

... assuming Metro is a

... assuming Metro is a public agency.

It is: the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, created by Congress in 1966.

is the airport gonna be

is the airport gonna be named or war criminal secretary of state John Foster Dulles? I hope not, but I didn't want to register to read the article.