Solo drivers will need to pay a toll to access nine-mile Express Lanes segment from Gainesville to Route 28 in Centreville; HOV-2+ can travel toll-free with an E-ZPass Flex
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP), the Commonwealth’s private partner and operator of the new 66 Express Lanes, announced today that tolling and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) rules will begin this Saturday, Sept. 24, on the recently opened western section of 66 Express Lanes. Motorists will be able to use this nine-mile stretch of new Express Lanes from Route 29 in Gainesville to Route 28 in Centreville by paying a toll or can ride toll-free if traveling as an HOV with two or more people and an E-ZPass Flex.
The westernmost segment of 66 Express Lanes opened to all traffic toll-free on Sept. 10, providing motorists with early travel benefits and the opportunity to become familiar with the new lanes and access points. This section of Express Lanes opened ahead of schedule, and in advance of the remaining 13 miles of 66 Express Lanes from Route 28 in Centreville to I-495 (Capital Beltway), which are scheduled to open in December 2022.
What Drivers Need to Know:
- Once tolling and HOV rules go into effect, drivers will see their individual toll price on electronic signs in advance of choosing to enter the lanes.
- Tolls for the 66 Express Lanes will be based on traffic volumes and speed, in order to manage demand for the lanes and keep traffic moving.
Passenger vehicles such as cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks will pay the same toll rate.
- Larger vehicles and large trucks are allowed to use the 66 Express Lanes but will pay a higher rate.
- Motorcycles can use the lanes for free.
- Drivers can pay their tolls using an E-ZPass transponder or by using one of the other payment options available through I-66 EMP such as paying online, via the mail, by calling 833-643-2867, or in person at the 66 Express Lanes Customer Service Center in Manassas. Payment options other than E-ZPass will incur administrative fees. More information can be found at Ride66express.com.
- Drivers can obtain an E-ZPass at ezpassva.com, by calling 877-762-7824, or in person at many Giant and Wegmans grocery stores in Northern Virginia, as well as at AAA offices, Fairfax Connector stores, and DMV Customer Service Centers.
Details for HOV Travelers:
- Eligible HOVs can use the 66 Express Lanes toll-free but must have an E-ZPass Flex set to the “HOV On” mode.
Vehicles must have two or more occupants to qualify as HOV.
- When the remaining portion of the 66 Express Lanes opens later this year, vehicles will need to have three or more occupants to qualify as an HOV.
- This change from HOV-2+ to HOV-3+ will apply across the entire I-66 corridor between Route 15 in Haymarket and the Washington, D.C. line – including 66 Express Lanes located inside and outside the Beltway – and is consistent with HOV requirements on the other Express Lanes in Northern Virginia.
How to Access the 66 Express Lanes Western Section:
- Drivers traveling eastbound on I-66 can merge onto the Express Lanes from the general purpose lanes prior to Route 29 in Gainesville and by using a slip ramp prior to Route 234 Business.
- Drivers traveling westbound on I-66 can access the Express Lanes from the general purpose lanes prior to Route 28.
- New dedicated ramps provide access at Route 234 Business, Route 28, and Braddock and Walney roads, as well as from two new commuter parking lots at University Boulevard (Gainesville) and Century Park Drive (Manassas), which were built as part of the overall Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project.
Motorists are urged to continue using caution when traveling on I-66, as active construction including paving operations, lane shifts, and work on interchanges, bridges and ramps, continues in many areas. Following the anticipated December opening of the remaining 66 Express Lanes, final construction elements will continue and are scheduled to be completed in mid-2023.
Visit Ride66Express.com to learn more about 66 Express Lanes, and Transform66.org to stay informed about I-66 construction activities.