Articles Posted in Transportation Law

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These consolidated appeals arose from a Va. Code Ann. 56-542(D) investigation by the State Corporation Commission of the tolls charged by Toll Road Investors Partnership II, LP for the Dulles Greenway, a privately owned toll road located primarily in Loudoun County. The Board of Supervisors of Loudoun County and David Ramadan (collectively, Appellants) requested that the Commission reduce the tolls. After concluding the investigation, the Commission issued an order in which it decided not to substitute new toll rates for the Greenway under the authority of section 56-542(D). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Commission did not err in its construction and application of section 56-542(D); and (2) the Commission did not err in its factual findings that the Greenway’s existing toll rates satisfy the section 56-542(D) criteria while Appellants’ proposed rates did not. View "Bd. of Supervisors of Loudoun County v. State Corp. Comm’n" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was a Project that provided for the design and construction of a new Midtown Tunnel. The Commonwealth Transportation Board affirmed the Project and specifically approved and ratified the imposition and collection of tolls on the Project as contemplated by a Comprehensive Agreement entered into by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC (ERC). Plaintiff and other individuals filed a complaint against ERC and VDOT, alleging, inter alia, that the General Assembly, through its enactment of the Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA), unconstitutionally delegated its power of taxation to VDOT and ERC in violation of the Virginia Constitution. The circuit court concluded that the General Assembly exceeded its authority in this case. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Project tolls were user fees and not taxes, and therefore, the General Assembly did not delegate its power of taxation to agencies such as VDOT in violation of the Virginia Constitution; (2) the General Assembly properly delegated to VDOT and ERC the legislative power to impose and set the rates of user fees in the form of tolls under the terms of the PPTA; and (3) the Comprehensive Agreement did not abridge the Commonwealth's police power. View "Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC v. Meeks" on Justia Law

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The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) entered into an agreement, pursuant to the Rail Enhancement Fund created by Va. Code Ann. 33.1-221.1:1.1, to grant funds to Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Norfolk Southern) for the development of an intermodal terminal in Montgomery County. Appellant, Montgomery County, instituted on action against DRPT, DRPT's director, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board, claiming that section 33.1-221.1:1.1 and the agreement were unconstitutional pursuant to the state Constitution's internal improvements clause and credit clause, and sought to enjoin their administration. Norfolk Southern subsequently intervened as a defendant. The circuit court ruled in favor of Defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 33.1-221.1:1.1, as applied in this case, did not violate either the internal improvements clause or the credit clause of the Constitution of Virginia. View "Montgomery County v. Va. Dep't of Rail & Pub. Transp." on Justia Law