I am a concerned citizen who has lived in Loudoun County for 24 years, and I want the public to know the truth about hidden costs behind the proposed Metrorail line to Loudoun.
Is Metro to Loudoun the key to achieving our economic potential? Tysons Corner, our neighbor to the east, became the 12th-largest employment center in the U.S. without Metro.
Bringing businesses to Loudoun County is great, but it has not brought residential property tax relief — so don’t ask taxpayers to pay for this project. Dulles Airport has been here more than 50 years. It has stimulated business activity, yet Loudoun currently has the highest property taxes in the southeast U.S.
Is Chairman Scott York right when he claims Metro to Loudoun is the only way to expand transit capacity between Loudoun County and Washington, D.C.?
Loudoun could choose to expand the fleet of express buses that already carry people to and from Washington along the existing Dulles Access Road. Expanding this service would be easy, efficient and affordable. A Loudoun-based express bus service could continue to be the best choice for the foreseeable future.
Is it true we need to buy into Metro now? The answer is no. Some say buying in now will avoid paying more if we wait. They point to the project's history of soaring costs. Dulles rail construction costs increased from an initial estimate of $1.9 billion in 2000 to about $7 billion today.
Why? Escalating cost is because of poor management by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Listen to what U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf had to say: “... the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general has 13 staffers working on an MWAA audit that he requested ... In the last four or five years the thing just went astray. ... Something’s gone wrong.”
All this tells me the common sense remedy would be for Loudoun to opt out of the project, and take control of its own transit needs rather than being pushed around by MWAA.
Roberto Costantino, Waterford