tolls vs metro

to continue the discussion and challenge my fellow blogger chris’ comments on tolls and commuter taxes, i have to give my point of view as a driving commuter. how much, as a lone commuter do i have to pay???

the commonwealth transportation board approved a toll hike to take effect on may 22. the almost 50% increase is suppose to support a $4 billion Metrorail extension down the tollroad.

as a single driver, that sometimes commutes in w/another person (btw, nuride has not worked out for me), i have no options but to drive and i’m not sure where my 4.5 years of commuting tolls have gone. if i have to commute another 10 years before the metro system reaches my office, and you expect me to tolerate totally outrageous tolls til then, you’re crazy.

i’ve estimated that i pay about $250/yr. in tolls (i take the cheap route). i also log about 10,000 miles a year commuting = ~$3,450. not to mention insurance, maintenance, etc.

i do think one way to alleviate the situation is for more companies to subsidize the cost. government subsidizes commuting, so should private companies in the sticks that force you to pay through up to $6.70 in daily tolls. i know my company over the last 20 years moved from downtown dc to reston to boofoo past dulles because of the rising costs of office space. the company’s been saving money, but they haven’t passed those savings back to their employees for communting. or force my company to have a standard telecommuting policy (which we’ve tried, btw).

on the other hand, tysons corner center has to pay $1.3 million in rail tax this year. however, i’m sure they’ll easily make that back in the boom of real estate opportunities once the metro is extended to tysons.

i am not even going to be here long enough to see these improvements. show me some tangible benefits for my toll fees today. maybe i get a free metro ride once in awhile or parking pass at the metro. lisa, can you find me something on your free list to make me feel better???

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