Washington (Dulles Corridor)

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Dulles Corridor

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

(November 1996)

Description The Dulles Corridor is a segment of the Northern Virginia Portion of the Greater Washington metropolitan area. This 23-mile corridor is within the right-of-way of the Dulles Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road within Fairfax County, and the Dulles Greenway (the extension of the Toll Road) in Loudoun County. A metro-like rail alternative to the airport covering a total of 23 miles with 10 stations is estimated to have a capital cost of $1.45 billion (1995 dollars) with a projected daily ridership of 115,000 in the year 2020.

Status Section 3035(aaa) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multi-year grant agreement with the State [sic] of Virginia, or its assignee, in the amount of $6 million for completion of alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering. The Commonwealth of Virginia received a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) from FTA authorizing up to $1.8 million in Federal funds. The LONP has been partially liquidated by two grants totaling $1 million in Federal funds.

Through FY 1997, Congress has earmarked $17 million in discretionary bus funds for the Dulles Corridor bus program, and area park and ride lots. This supplements $18.4 million, which was already granted in FY 1991.

In August 1996, the Commonwealth Transportation Board adopted the recommended Locally Preferred Alternative, which is a metro-like facility (a rail line that would be compatible with the existing regional rail system), which branches off the regional rail system from the West Falls Church metro-station, serves the Tysons Corner Area and continues along the Dulles Corridor to the vicinity of Route 772 in Loudoun County. The selected rail alternative includes a reconfigured bus network and feeder services as programmed in the locally adopted Dulles Corridor Plan, with several stations adjacent to park and ride lots as currently programmed and under construction in the corridor. State and local officials are evaluating the financing plan and funding strategies. Following completion of the financing plan, the recommended alternative will be included in the fiscally constrained long range plan for the metropolitan Washington area.


Mobility Improvements: The Metro-like rail alternative is projected to carry 115,000 daily trips, including 57,000 new transit trips, approximately 50,000 trips diverted from existing Orange Line stations, and approximately 10,000 former bus trips. Approximately 30 percent of riders would be making a reverse commute from Washington D.C. and Arlington County to destinations at Tysons Corner and the rest of the Dulles Corridor. Approximately 8 percent of riders would be air passengers traveling to and from Dulles Airport.

Cost Effectiveness: The cost-effectiveness index for the rail alternative is $9 per new rider.

Environmental Benefits: The Washington metropolitan area is classified as a serious ozone nonattainment area and a moderate carbon monoxide nonattainment area. The rail alternative is projected to have generally positive impacts on regional air quality and corridor-level traffic volumes by diverting large numbers of auto users to transit. Specific emission reduction data were not provided to FTA.

Operating Efficiencies: No data on systemwide costs per passenger were provided to FTA.

The 23-mile Metro-like rail alternative with 10 stations is projected to cost $1.45 billion (1995 dollars) with an a projected additional annual operating deficit of $4.5 million (1995 dollars). State and local officials are developing a financing plan and evaluating funding strategies.

Source of Funds

Total Funding


Section 5309 New Start NA
Section 5307 Formula NA
Flexible Funds NA
State: NA
Local: NA
TOTAL $1,450
NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions. The table includes NA for proposed source of funds since the exact mix of federal and state funds are to be determined as the financial plan is finalized.