December 7, 2017

BLUE STATE BLUES: A $40 Toll to Drive 10 Miles? It Happened on Virginia’s I-66.

If you took a bus from New York to Washington tomorrow, a 230-mile drive, and then turned around and came back, you still might not spend as much as some Virginians paid on Tuesday to drive there from 10 miles away.

Just after 8 a.m., the price to take the new express lanes on Interstate 66 from the Beltway to downtown Washington reached $40. By the time the morning rush ended at 9:30, the toll was $15.75 — a comparative pittance, but still almost enough for a one-way ticket from New York.

The peak price — which barreled past the $34.50 recorded on Monday, the lanes’ first day of operation — was one of the highest for a toll road anywhere in the United States. But transit officials said the congestion pricing system was working as designed: keeping traffic moving by encouraging people to car-pool or take alternate routes.

If you’re in a hurry to get to DC, I guess it helps to be a well-paid bureaucrat or lobbyist.