Virginia's Dulles Metro considers P3

A request for information (RFI) has been issued to assess private financing options for the $3.2bn second phase of Virginia’s Dulles Metro rail scheme in the US.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) CEO Jack Potter told the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee that private firms will be invited to suggest ways to fund the scheme, following the RFI this week.

"It might be a little bit of a fishing expedition, but we'd like to know if there are opportunities for folks to bring some financing to the table that could lower our costs," said Potter.

The project's second phase would extend the rail line 12 miles from Reston to beyond Dulles International Airport and was one of eight transport projects seeking TIFIA loan financing from the government over the summer.

Earlier this month initial approval was agreed by federal, state, and local officials to use $2.1bn in revenue from increased taxes on the Dulles Toll Road for the project, along with an agreement to build the rail line above ground and P3s for parking garages at some of the line’s stations. 

According to the RFI, although funding (particularly revenues from the Dulles Toll) are available to the MWAA to fully fund phase two's capital costs, the authority will continue to assess financing options that might reduce the projected toll rate increases on the Dulles Toll. "Any privately-sourced financing will need to be on parity with or  subordinate to approximately  $1.3bn of outstanding Dulles Toll Road Revenue Bonds," it states.