Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, and we have answers.

Below, we have provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions, which are grouped by category to make your search easier. If you do not find the answer you need, feel free to reach out to us HERE

Project Overview

What are the I-66 Express Lanes and how do they work?

The 66 Express Lanes are two new dynamically-tolled express lanes in each direction along the existing I-66 corridor between I-495/Capital Beltway and Route 29 in Gainesville, VA. The new lanes add additional capacity to the highway to move more people and provide a more reliable travel option to drivers. Toll prices will fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic and the time of day to ensure consistent and reliable travel speed in the express lanes.

Prices will adjust as traffic increases, dropping back down during lighter traffic flow. Signs before and along the 66 Express Lanes corridor will let you know in advance how much you will pay prior to entering any segment of the express lanes.

Toll prices vary by the shape, size and number of axles of the vehicle you drive. For example; passenger vehicles such as cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs pay the same price. Larger vehicles and large trucks will pay a higher toll price.

It is your choice to drive in the 66 Express Lanes and pay the tolls or to drive in the adjacent non-tolled regular lanes.

Will I have to pay a toll to drive on 66 Express Lanes?

You can choose to pay for a faster, more reliable, congestion-free drive on the 66 Express Lanes or you can choose to drive in the adjacent regular lane and not be tolled.

Eligible high occupancy vehicles with an E-ZPass Flex set to “HOV” mode can travel the 66 Express Lanes toll-free.

How do users benefit from the I-66 Express Lanes?

All drivers will benefit from the 66 Express Lanes. The express lanes provide users with a choice to access a reliable travel alternative based on their daily schedules and needs. Drivers choosing not to utilize the express lanes will also experience traffic congestion relief thanks to the new capacity added to the highway and other safety improvements made to the I-66 corridor as a result of the Express Lanes project.

What are toll segments and how many segments will the I-66 Express Lanes have?

A toll segment is a section of express lanes between an entrance to and exit from the express lanes.

The 66 Express Lanes will have a total of 23 entrances and 20 exits along the 22.5 mile I-66 corridor from I-495 to Route 29 in Gainesville, giving you convenient access to every destination along the corridor, as well as all points east of I-66 inside the Beltway.

Toll charges are applied when a vehicle enters each tolling segment or continues from one toll segment to the next. A single trip may include more than one toll segment. Given the location of entrances to and exits from the express lanes, you can choose how many segments to use in your trip.

For a look at the different entry and exit points, click HERE.

Who is building I-66 Express?

The 66 Express Lanes outside the Beltway project was designed, financed and built by I-66 Express Mobility Partners LLC, which was selected by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) after a rigorous, competitive public bidding process. I-66 Express Mobility Partners is responsible for operations and maintenance of the 22.5-mile I-66 Express Lanes from I-495 to Gainesville.

How much has I-66 Express Mobility Partners invested in the I-66 Express Lanes project?

I-66 Express Mobility Partners is providing 100% of the financing for the project at no cost to the state of Virginia. The innovative public-private partnership leverages $3.6 billion in private funds to redevelop 22.5 miles of I-66 from I-495 to Gainesville with two express lanes and three general purpose lanes in each direction, make interchange improvements to enhance safety and reduce congestion, construct new and expanded park and ride facilities with 4,000 new parking spaces, provide new and improved transit options, and a construct new shared-use trails along I-66 for pedestrians and cyclists. Throughout the term of the Comprehensive Agreement, I-66 Express Mobility Partners will provide funding for transit operations and other corridor improvements. Operation and maintenance costs of the 66 Express Lanes are also the sole responsibility of I-66 Express Mobility Partners.

Public-Private Partnerships (P3)

What is a public-private partnership?

A public-private partnership (P3) is a contractual agreement formed between a public agency and a private sector entity that allows for greater private sector participation in the delivery and financing of transportation projects, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

What assurances are in place to protect the state of Virginia, taxpayers and local communities?

There are numerous safeguards built into the partnering agreements that eliminate risk to Virginia and ensure that the state, taxpayers and local communities will always be protected as they continue to benefit from the 66 Express Lanes.

Why is a private developer involved with the I-66 Express Lanes?

Developing this project through a public-private partnership transfers the risk of future usage of the express lanes to the private sector so that if the highway usage is less than expected, the public is protected. The public-private partnership model also takes full advantage of the innovation and efficiency of private enterprise to reduce the use of tax dollars. Furthermore, the public-private partnership model sets an incentive for customer service: the private developer will only be successful in the long term if the project provides a safe, reliable and valuable service to the community at a reasonable price.

Who owns the I-66 Express Lanes?

The Commonwealth of Virginia. Throughout the entire duration of the Comprehensive Agreement (CA) with I-66 Express Mobility Partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia, through the Virginia Department of Transportation, will have full ownership of the project. Under the CA, I-66 Express Mobility Partners has the right to lease the project for 50 years, not unlike many leases by public entities to private companies.

General Purpose vs. Express Lanes

What are the advantages to drivers using express lanes versus the general purpose lanes?

Express lanes offer drivers a faster, more reliable way to travel between I-495 and Gainesville, to help you get to your kids’ school, catch your flight or arrive to work on time. With the option of a congestion-free trip on the express lanes at any time of day even during rush-hour periods, you can anticipate less congestion and the frustration that comes with it.

What separates the express lanes from the general purpose lanes?

Traffic delineator flexible posts separate the express lanes from the adjacent general-purpose lanes.

Using the Express Lanes

Do I have to use the I-66 Express Lanes?

The express lanes are an option for drivers who want more reliable travel times. Motorists can determine for themselves if the time that they will save traveling on the 66 Express Lanes is worth the toll that they will pay to use them. Each driver can choose the combination of express lane and general-purpose lane travel that is the best option for his or her trip.

What is the speed limit in the I-66 Express Lanes?

70 mph.

How do I pay to use the I-66 Express Lanes?

You can pay using your E-Z Pass, visiting our website and using one of our online payment options, mail in a payment after you receive an invoice or pay by phone by calling our customer service center.

Will the toll rates change as I go through the toll segments?

Our dynamic tolling system works in real-time to post toll rates to signs along the corridor to manage traffic conditions. In advance of each toll segment a toll rate sign will display the price for the next toll segment. Once in the express lanes, drivers can choose to continue in the express lanes and pay the toll fee for the next toll segment or exit the lanes at no extra cost.  A single trip may include more than one toll segment. Given the location of entrances to and exits from the express lanes, you can choose how many to use in your trip.

How will the I-66 Express Lanes operate during an emergency?

In the event of an emergency evacuation as declared by the Governor, the new express lanes will add greater capacity to the I-66 corridor so that citizens can leave the area safely and quickly. During an emergency, VDOT can suspend tolling immediately. Emergency vehicles always have unimpeded access to the express lanes.

Can I pull my boat or trailer and use the 66 Express Lanes?

Two-axle vehicles pulling a trailer or boat are not permitted to travel in the 66 Express Lanes. If you do mistakenly enter the 66 Express Lanes while pulling a trailer or boat with a two-axle vehicle, you will be charged a higher toll rate.

Entrances and Exits

How do I enter and exit the I-66 Express Lanes?

The express lanes are divided into toll segments with 23 entrances and 20 exits to safely guide you into and out of the lanes. Dedicated entrance ramps will safely guide you into the lanes. Dedicated 66 Express Lanes exit ramps will guide you back into the I-66 general purpose (regular) lanes, Route 28, I-495 or arterial roads.

Understanding the Signs

Are the express lanes entrances clearly marked on highway signs?

Yes. Entrances are clearly marked by overhead signs with the term ‘Express’ to avoid confusion. Signs that provide advance notice of the current toll prices are also located prior to all express lanes entrances to give drivers time to make a choice.

For more information about all the signs on the express lanes click HERE.

Pricing

What happens with the tolls when there is an accident?

Accidents are an unfortunate, common occurrence on all highways. The operator of the 66 Express Lanes always strives to clear an accident as soon as possible. Along with the management team in the Traffic Control Center will assess each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine the safest way to proceed.

How are prices calculated?

The 66 Express Lanes uses variable congestion-management pricing. Toll rates will fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic and the time of day, to maintain a consistent speed of travel in the express lanes. Prices will adjust as traffic increases, dropping back down during lighter traffic flow. Drivers are notified of the price to use the express lanes through toll rate signs located before and along the express lanes.

How much will I pay to use the express lanes?

To ensure maximum congestion relief on the general purpose lanes and ensure a reliable speed on the express lanes, toll prices will fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic and the time of day, in order to maintain consistent speed of travel. Prices will adjust as traffic increase, dropping back down during lighter traffic flow. Signs before and along the express lanes will let you know in advance how much you will pay.

Toll prices vary by the shape, size and number of axles of the vehicle you drive. For example; passenger vehicles such as cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, pay the same price. Larger vehicles and large trucks pay a higher toll price.

How will I know what the toll price is so that I can decide to use the express lanes?

Through transparent information displayed on toll rate signs and travel conditions, every customer can make an informed choice to use the express lanes. Prices are clearly displayed on overhead toll rate signs in advance of each express lanes entrance and new toll segment. The cost displayed is for the toll segment located after the toll rate sign. The cost displayed on a toll rate sign is only for individual toll segments and not the collective price of multiple toll segments in a trip.

HOV Travel on the 66 Express Lanes

How do I qualify for HOV discounts?

You will qualify for an HOV toll discount on the 66 Express Lanes if:

  • You have three or more* people in an HOV eligible vehicle, such as a driver and two passengers (motorcycles do not require passengers).
  • You have a valid EZPass account in good standing (i.e., cannot fall into a negative balance)
  • You have an EZPass Flex transponder set to “HOV-On” mode
  • Your EZPass Flex transponder is properly mounted on your vehicle’s windshield.

*Vehicles with two or more occupants qualify as HOV until December 5, 2022, when the entire I-66 corridor will convert to HOV-3+. 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 the 66 Express Lanes located inside and outside the Beltway – and is consistent with HOV requirements on the other Express Lanes in Northern Virginia.

What are HOV-eligible vehicles?

HOV-eligible vehicles include motorcycles and non-commercial two-axle passenger cars, trucks, vans and SUVs less than 7 feet tall. Vehicles longer than 18 feet and taller than 7 feel, or with 3 or more axles are not HOV-eligible on the 66 Express Lanes.

Getting an E-ZPass

Can I use the I-66 Express Lanes if I have a toll transponder from another state?

E-ZPass does accept transponders from other states. Please visit www.ezpassva.com to check if your transponder is interoperable with E-ZPass.

How do I get an E-ZPass?

For more information and to learn more on how to get an E-ZPass, visit www.ezpassva.com or call 1-877-762-7824.

Billing & Customer Service

If I have a question on my billing, who should I contact?

For questions related to your E-ZPass Virginia account, please contact E-ZPass Virginia by online message, by visiting an E-ZPass Virginia Customer Service Center or calling 1-877-762-7824. Visit www.ezpassva.com for more information.

If you received an invoice from 66 Express Lanes, you can contact the 66 Express Lanes customer service center via one of the following options:

Send an online Customer Service inquiry HERE

Call Customer Service at (833) 643-2867

Visit us in person at

7450 Century Park Drive
Manassas, VA 20109