I-495 Express Lanes Survey Shows Quick Impact

Survey results also reveal barriers preventing commuters from using the lanes, which opened in November 2012.

More than 80 percent of I-495 Express Lanes users reported reduced trip times, according to the results of a survey of more than 1,700 frequent Capital Beltway drivers conducted by Express Lanes management.

Eighty-two percent of users of the Express Lanes polled in the survey “estimated a real time savings on their trip,” according to the results released last week.

The lanes opened in November 2012 on the Virginia side of the Beltway promising easier but pricier trips to commuters. All drivers must have an E-ZPass or E-ZPass FlexSM to pay the fares to use the Express Lanes.

The survey also revealed some of the barriers preventing people from using the lanes: 46 percent of travelers polled said they don’t have an E-ZPass.

Forty-one percent of drivers polled who have not take the Express Lanes said the lack of clarity about how to get on them plays a role in why they haven’t tried to use them. Forty-six percent of drivers polled said the lack of clarity of about how to get off the lanes has played a role in why they haven’t used them. 

To help drivers understand how to get on and off the lanes, interchange videos are now available on the Express Lanes website. The videos give drivers a behind-the-wheel view of how to get off and on the Express Lanes.

The top reasons travelers used the Express Lanes included:

  • “Needed” to reach a destination on time
  • Mainline Beltway congestion
  • Interest in a reliable trip
  • Interest in getting on or off the Express Lanes at one of the new entry/exit points in Tysons Corner or Merrifield

Have you used the I-495 Express Lanes? Have they reduced your commute time? What do you think of them? Tell us in the comments.

Tammi Petrine February 24, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Express Lanes for the rich in America? Disgraceful! Only Emergency Vehicles, Buses, and HOV should be able to use them. Anyone blocking extreme left lane should be fined $500 and banned forever after.
Michael February 25, 2013 at 02:15 AM
How these people can't figure out how to get on and off the lanes is beyond me. The entrances and exits are so clearly marked that anyone who can pass a driver's exam should be able to figure that out.


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