WASHINGTON (WMAL) – The I-395 Express toll lanes make their rush hour debut Monday morning.
The Express Lanes replace the HOV lanes and are a continuation of the system in place on the I-95 Express Lanes that ended right around the Springfield interchange. The change will give drivers the option to take Express Lanes all the way to the D.C. line.
Vehicles with three or more people will still be able to ride free with an EZ Pass flex set to HOV mode. Vehicles with one or two people will pay tolls based on traffic volume. Unlike the HOV lane restrictions – which were only in place during rush hour – tolls will be charged 24/7.
“We expect the price for trips along the 395 Express Lanes, on average we think people will pay about $8, but that range will go anywhere from a couple of bucks to the mid to high twenties during periods of really high demand and high congestion on the regular lanes,” said Transurban spokesperson Mike McGurk.
The tolls can change as frequently as every ten minutes at rush hour, according to McGurk, but drivers will be charged the price posted on overhead signs when they get on the Express Lanes.
There were lots of complaints from solo drivers when the-66 inside the Beltway rush hour tolls went into effect because some were charged more than $30 at times. The Virginia Department of Transportation – which manages those lanes – said the tolls were working the way they were supposed to.
Just like like the tolls on those lanes, these do not have a cap.
“Not putting a cap on that is important because that ensures the tolls can actually raise to do just that and makes sure traffic stays moving in the lanes, and when a customer pays that toll, no matter what it is, they can still depend on getting that faster trip in the 395 Express Lanes,” McGurk said.
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