The 66 Alliance is a group of I-66 commuters who came together in 2015 and 2016 to oppose parts of VDOT’s plans to convert Interstate 66 into High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes from Haymarket to the Roosevelt Bridge.
Since our inception, the 66 Alliance’s 4 goals have been:
- Retain HOV-2 on I-66 (VDOT wants to go to HOV-3);
- Prohibit tolling of “reverse” commuters on 66 inside the Beltway;
- Expand capacity on 66 inside and outside the Beltway; and,
- Retain the Clean Fuel Vehicle (CFV) program.
By March 2016, the Alliance accomplished the first three goals, either through administrative concessions by VDOT or through legislation during the 2016 Virginia General Assembly. For a brand new grassroots commuter advocacy group, winning 3 out of 4 — when VDOT and the powerful multi-national corporations seeking to impose tolls on 66 are against us — is very impressive, and all 66 Alliance members and supporters should congratulate themselves.
By March 2017, however, the Alliance lost its fight with respect to the continuation of the I-66 CFV Program inside the Beltway. Based on recent communications from VDOT, CFV plate holders will no longer be able to use I-66 inside the Beltway for free after November 2017 — the date when the new tolling gantries on 66 inside the Beltway will be turned on. For many Alliance members who invested in CFV vehicles over the past two decades, this has been a hard loss to take.
Committed members of the 66 Alliance currently are determining if there is sufficient support among I-66 commuters to continue to work to achieve the following goals:
- Make HOV-2 on 66 permanent, not just preserved until 2020;
- Preserve the CFV program on 66 outside the Beltway at least until the new HOV lanes are opened sometime between 2020 and 2022; and,
- “Renew” the CFV program on all of 66 (and perhaps on 95, 395 and 495) — a renewal that likely will require current CFV plate owners to invest in “next generation” vehicles such as plug-in electrics, fuel cell and/or hydrogen vehicles.
If you are an existing member of the Alliance and have not contacted the Alliance to show your support for these goals, please send a message today. If you are not a member of the Alliance and would like to join and support one or more of these goals, please click on the “Join the Alliance” button above and fill out the membership form.
The Alliance’s work is not over yet and we will have a new Governor in Richmond in 2018 — so there is potentially a great opportunity to reverse and/or charge the decisions of Governor McAuliffe’s VDOT over the past 3 years. If you don’t get active, join the Alliance and express you opinion regarding VDOT’s plans, they you can’t complain when 66 goes to HOV-3 and/or the CFV fully disappears.