Friends and neighbors,
I wanted to share some news from Transurban, the operator of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. They have recently announced that their “First-Time Forgiveness” program. This program forgives penalties that customers owe if the penalty exceeds $2,200. In addition, it will now apply to those affected before the program was put into place on October 27, 2014.
In other words, this means that drivers who mistakenly used the lanes without an EZ-Pass or who did not know the balance of their pass when traveling on the lanes, will not be penalized for their first mistake. Also, those who made the mistake in the past will either have their penalties dropped or refunded. Transurban urges anyone who receives their first unpaid toll invoice to contact the company and inquire if they apply for the program. For more information, you can visit ExpressLanes.com or call (855) 495-9777. I have also placed a copy of their press release below:
Transurban Extends First-Time Forgiveness Program’s Cap Retroactively for Unpaid Toll Cases
Jun 8, 2015
Alexandria, Va. – Transurban, the operator of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, announced today that its First-Time Forgiveness program’s self-imposed cap on fees and penalties will be applied retroactively to individuals impacted before the program was put into place on October 27, 2014.
Although Virginia law prescribes violations with much higher penalties, Transurban is forgiving any penalties that individual customers currently owe that are in excess of $2,200, not including the cost of their missed tolls and court fees. Further, Transurban will provide individual customers with a refund for any penalties paid over this same amount.
“We are seeing tremendous results since the program was implemented last fall,” stated Nic Barr, Vice President of Operations at Transurban. “We have listened to our customers and are using their feedback to make improvements. Making the First-Time Forgiveness program’s cap on fees and penalties retroactive was the logical next step.”
More than 2,700 customers have benefited from the program in helping them avoid potential fees and civil penalties from the program’s inception to April 30, 2015. The vast majority of customers continue to avoid unpaid tolls by traveling with a properly mounted and funded E-ZPass. Approximately 96 percent of Express Lanes trips are paid or exempt at the time of travel with less than 0.1 percent of trips ending up in court.
“We will continue to look at how we can adjust our operations to meet the needs of travelers and expect to implement additional refinements over the coming months,” said Barr. “As a reminder, we ask any traveler who receives their first unpaid toll invoice to contact us immediately to see if they qualify for the program.”
Transurban will send letters to all impacted customers over the next week. In the meantime, customers should visit ExpressLanes.com for more information or call (855) 495-9777.
About the Express Lanes
The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on I-495/Capital Beltway and I-95 to provide drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia. Together the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for nearly 40 miles from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County. Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways. For more information, please visit ExpressLanes.com.