Using the Lanes

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  • A New Kind of Travel

    Using the 495 and 95 Express Lanes is easy and provides you with a predictable trip on the Capital Beltway and on I-95 in Northern Virginia. Whether you travel by car, carpool, motorcycle or bus, the Express Lanes give you the freedom to control how and when you arrive at your destination.

    A New Kind of Travel
  • Rules of the Road

    The Express Lanes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Drivers can use the lanes anytime and tolling is always in effect. All drivers need an E-ZPass and carpoolers need an E-ZPass Flex. Dynamic tolls are used to manage traffic and keep traffic moving at highway speeds. Vehicles with more than two axles and towing trailers are prohibited on the Lanes. The 495 and 95 Express Lanes are connected so you can enjoy a predictable trip for over 40 miles.

    Rules of the Road
  • 95 Express Lanes

    The 95 Express Lanes are 31 miles long and located in the center of I-95. The Lanes are reversible. They flow northbound toward Washington, D.C. during the workday morning commute and southbound toward Fredericksburg for the afternoon commute.

    Rules of the Road
  • 495 Express Lanes

    The 495 Express Lanes include two lanes on both the inner and outer loop of the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia. The Lanes span approximately 14 miles on the Beltway and are also located in the center of the highway. They are separated from the regular lanes by white posts which drivers should never attempt to pass through.

    Rules of the Road
  • Paying the Toll Won't Slow You Down

    If you plan to travel on the Express Lanes with fewer than three people in your car, you will pay your toll with an E-ZPass®. The Express Lanes will use all-electronic tolling to securely charge your E-ZPass account and keep you moving – there are no toll booths to slow you down and no options to pay cash.

    Paying the Toll Won't Slow You Down
  • Carpooling on the Express Lanes

    Carpools can use the lanes without paying a toll. If you carpool on the Express Lanes, you need three people in the car and an E-ZPass® FlexSM set to HOV mode. The E-ZPass Flex is your way to tell the Express Lanes operator that you are carpooling to ensure you are not charged a toll.

    Carpooling on the Express Lanes
  • Getting onto the Lanes

    You will see pricing and regulatory signage in advance of all Express Lanes entrances. These signs guide you to the lanes, explain the rules of the road and provide you with information on current toll pricing. Once you see the price and determine you want to take the Express Lanes, you will enter the lanes on a ramp that will bring you directly into the Express Lanes. It's that easy.

    Mind the Barrier
  • Exiting the Lanes

    Once you are on the 95 Express Lanes, you will use dedicated Express Lanes ramps to exit directly onto major roadways or back to the regular lanes on I-95. On the Beltway, you can only exit from the 495 Express Lanes onto the regular Beltway lanes at the beginning and end of the 495 Express Lanes – in the area just south of Braddock Road, or north of the Dulles Toll Road.

    Ready to use the lanes? »

    Check out the new Express Lanes signage so you'll know what to look for on the road

    Pull Over

Fast Facts about Using the Express Lanes

  • The Express Lanes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Drivers can use the lanes anytime and tolling is always in effect
  • All drivers need an E-ZPass and carpoolers need an E-ZPass Flex. Find out how to properly use your E-ZPass
  • With three or more people and an E-ZPass Flex, HOV-3 travel toll-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • The 95 Express Lanes end and the HOV lanes begin on I-395 just north of Edsall Road. The rules on the I-395 HOV lanes will not change. Read more about this transition area
  • You will see pricing and regulatory signage in advance of all Express Lanes entrances. These signs guide you to the lanes, explain the rules of the road and provide you with information on current toll pricing. Read more about Express Lanes signage
  • The Express Lanes use dynamic pricing to keep you moving. Read more about Express Lanes pricing
  • The 95 Express Lanes are reversible. The entry and exit points open and close depending on which direction traffic is flowing

Driving Reversible Lanes

The 95 Express Lanes are reversible. Gate transition time on the I-395 HOV and 95 Express Lanes facilities will temporarily increase during the nighttime hours due to remaining construction activity. Ultimately, the gate transition period will return to standard times.

Please note the schedule is approximate and will vary based on real-time traffic conditions. Some entry points close or open before others. Here's what you need to know:

  • No matter when you travel, remember to pay close attention to on-road signage and gates. If an access point is open to traffic, you're able to enter the Express Lanes
  • Never attempt to enter or exit the Express Lanes via an access point that is closed or is in the process of closing
Approximate Schedule*
Weekdays Saturday Sunday
CLOSED** OPEN Southbound OPEN Northbound
Midnight to 2:30 a.m. Midnight to 2 p.m. Midnight to midnight
OPEN Northbound CLOSED
2:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
CLOSED OPEN Northbound
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 4 p.m. to midnight
OPEN Southbound
1 p.m. to midnight *Subject to change
**Except on Monday