I wanted to pass along some information regarding the opening of the new I-95 Express Lanes.
The new Express Lanes are expected to open in December! I’m referring to the new lanes that are being built on the I-95/395 HOV lanes from Edsall Road in Fairfax County to Route 610 in Stafford County. These Express Lanes will hopefully help with the traffic on this 29 mile stretch of I-95! In order to access these new lanes, you will need an EZ Pass. So if you don’t already have one, you can order one online at www.ezpassva.com, or visit any of their customer service locations.
Why are we building a toll road? Well, if you’ve ever traveled on I-95, you know the outrageous amount of congestion that can occur. To help solve this problem, we’ve had to implement a project that costs over $1.5 Billion.
Since the state does not have the money to fund a $1.5 Billion project, we had to look to private investments. [Note: If the money was raised through a tax increase, the cost would have been the equivalent of a 7-8-cent/gallon-tax increase in Northern Virginia. Therefore, the General Assembly decided to make them toll lanes, while still allowing HOV users to ride on it for free.] Let me reiterate, you will not have to pay to ride on any of the lanes used today. The toll only applies to the non-HOV use of the new lanes.
Here is brief summary of the imminent rules and changes:
All drivers are required to have an E-Z pass or E-ZPass Flex to use the NEW Express Lanes.
All carpoolers must have an E-ZPass Flex.
- The E-ZPass Flex works similarly to the standard E-Z pass but enables carpoolers to switch between the HOV and toll-paying modes on the device. The two settings allow for the Express Lane operator to know which vehicles should be charged.
- By setting their E-ZPass Flex to HOV mode, carpools with three or more people can travel the Express Lanes toll-free.
Hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 are required to pay a toll or have a minimum of three people in the car to use the lanes.
- Hybrid drivers can avoid toll charges by setting their E-ZPass Flex to HOV mode and having at least 3 people in the vehicle.
- Hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 will still be allowed to use the I-395 HOV lanes (lanes from Springfield to DC) without having the minimum of three people in the vehicle.
Motorcyclists are not required to have an E-ZPass and will have toll-free access to the Lanes at all times.
Other Notable Changes:
- Vehicles will not be permitted to tow trailers on the Express Lanes.
- The new I-95 Express Lanes will not have set times like current HOV lanes. The Lanes will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More Information regarding the I-95 Express Lanes can be found on the following link: http://95expresslanes.com/.
If you have any questions or need any assistance obtaining an EZ Pass, feel free to contact me at (703) 451-3555 or DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov.