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First phase of Silver Line may be close to completion

The contractor building the first phase of the Silver Line has informed the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that it believes it has achieved substantial completion of the rail line.

This launched a 15-day review period that began Feb. 7 for MWAA to determine whether to concur with the declaration or to require additional testing and work. If MWAA’s team concurs with the declaration of substantial completion, then they would begin the process of turning the new rail line over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates the Metro system.

Metro will have 60 days from when it accepts the first segment of the Silver Line to train its staff and prepare to begin service on the new line.

Construction is also under way on the second phase of the Silver Line, which will extend service from the temporary terminus at Wiehle Avenue in Reston to Washington Dulles International Airport and eastern Loudoun County.

County executive to present budget Tuesday

County Executive Ed Long will present his proposed budget for fiscal 2015 and 2016 to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The budget presentation is scheduled for 10:40 a.m.

Residents interested in viewing the presentation can attend the meeting at the Fairfax County Government Center auditorium or watch on the county public access channel, Channel 16, which is available to cable subscribers in the county and via online streaming. The county executive’s presentation will be available as video-on-demand and air again on Channel 16 March 9 at 9 p.m. and March 15 at 11 a.m.

Long will also participate in an online chat focused on the budget Feb. 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. Residents can submit questions at fairfaxcounty.gov/askfairfax starting Tuesday and a transcript of the chat will be posted to the county website afterward.

The Board of Supervisors has scheduled three days for public hearings on the budget: 6 p.m. April 8, 3 p.m. April 9, and 3 p.m. April 10. Residents can sign up for the speakers list online via the Clerk to the Board’s section of fairfaxcounty.gov, or call the Office of the Clerk to the Board at 703-324-3151.

Comments on the budget can also be emailed to dmbinfo@fairfaxcounty.gov.

County authorizes additional taxicab certificates

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has authorized the addition of 78 new taxicab operator certificates to the county’s existing fleet of 576 to address local demand. The action will nearly double the number of taxicabs that are able to provide wheelchair-accessible service.

As a part of the biennial review of taxicab certificate process, the board authorized an additional 39 taxicab certificates in June 2013 based on results of the county’s demand formula, which indicated a need for a 6 percent increase in certificates. In July and August 2013, seven applicants, four new applicants, requested a total of 421 certificates.

Over the next few months, the county’s Consumer Protection Commission reviewed a variety of material regarding local demand and recommended that the number of new certificates introduced into the fleet be increased from 39 to 78, to better serve resident needs while also allowing for the need to provide additional wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The commission also recommended awarding new operator certificates to three of the county’s existing taxicab providers and also recommended that enviroCAB, which currently provides service in Arlington County, be awarded operator certificates as well.

The Board of Supervisors approved the commission’s recommendations at its Feb. 11 meeting. The certificates have been awarded to Fairfax Yellow, Red Top, White Top and enviroCAB. The new vehicles will be placed in service within the next six months.