Your free ride on the new Interstate 66 Express Lanes is coming to an end.
On Saturday, Sept. 24 tolling and high occupancy vehicle rules will kick in for the for the new, nine-mile stretch of I-66 Express Lanes between U.S. 29 in Gainesville and Va. 28 in Centreville. The lanes opened to traffic on Sept. 10.
This western-most section of the Express Lanes opened ahead of schedule and in advance of the remaining 13 miles of 66 Express Lanes, which will stretch from Va. 28 in Centreville to I-495 (Capital Beltway).
Other things drivers need to know about the new Express Lanes:
• 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 an https://ride66express.com/using-the-lanes/billing-and-customer-service/, 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 29 in Gainesville and by using a slip ramp prior Va. 234 Business.
• Drivers traveling westbound on I-66 can access the Express Lanes from the general purpose lanes prior to Va. 28.
• New dedicated ramps provide access at Va. 234 Business, U.S. 28 and Braddock and Walney roads, as well as from two new commuter parking lots at University Boulevard in Gainesville and Century Park Drive in Manassas, which were built as part of the overall Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project.
For more information, visit Ride66Express.com.