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Drive the 495 Express Lanes for Free

A special promotion is in effect April 6 and 7 to encourage travelers to try out the new express lanes.

Drivers this upcoming weekend can use the I-495 Beltway Express Lanes for free—no E-ZPass required.

The free weekend, April 6 and 7, is part of an educational campaign to encourage Beltway drivers to try the new travel option on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway and see how the Express Lanes can work for them, according to the 495 Express Lanes project.

In addition to two full days of free travel, the Express Lanes will also lift the E-ZPass requirement. Drivers can travel on the Express Lanes with or without an E-ZPass and will not be charged a toll. At all other times, drivers are required to travel with an E-ZPass; carpoolers must have an E-ZPass Flex. 

  • See VDOT Announces Launch of E-ZPass Flex

Free Express Lanes travel is only available April 6 and 7 to two-axle vehicles. Free travel is from 12:01 a.m. April 6 through 11:59 p.m. April 7.

Before using the Express Lanes, drivers should find out how to enter and exit the lanes by visiting the 495 Express Lanes website to plan their trip and watch detailed videos demonstrating how to enter and exit the Express Lanes.

The lanes opened in November 2012 on the Virginia side of the Beltway promising easier but pricier trips to commuters. According to an early 2013 survey of more than 1,700 frequent Capital Beltway travelers by Express Lanes management, more than 80 percent of I-495 Express Lanes users reported reduced trip times.

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