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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Traffic has been a bear already this Spring, so to make your commute easier, here's a little reminder about how HOV lanes work.

HOV stands for 'high occupancy lanes," which are set aside for vehicles with a minimum number of occupants during the rush hours. They shorten commute times not only for carpoolers, but for everyone else on the road.

In Virginia, it's HOV-3 on I-95 and I-395 for 30 miles between Prince William County and D.C. There are HOV lanes on the Dulles Tool Road and on I-66 it's HOV-2. They have different hours inside and outside the Beltway.

In Maryland, I-270 it's HOV-2 between 370 and the Beltway, and HOV-2 on Rt. 50 between Bowie and the Beltway.

Here's a full list of HOV times:

I-95/I-395 HOV Hours in Virginia:

Weekdays

6:00-9:00 a.m. -- HOV-3 northbound

9:00-11:00 a.m. -- northbound, no HOV restriction

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m -- closed while lanes are reversed

1 p.m-3:30 p.m. -- southbound, no HOV restriction

3:30-6:00 p.m.-- HOV-3 southbound

6:00-12:00 midnight -- southbound, no HOV restriction (may be extended during summer)

12:00 midnight -2:00 a.m. -- closed while lanes are reversed

2:00 a.m.-6:00 a.m. -- northbound, no HOV restriction (may be reduced during summer)

Weekends

6:00 p.m. Fri.-2 p.m. Sat. -- southbound, no HOV restriction

2:00-4:00 p.m. Sat. -- closed while lanes are reversed

4:00 p.m. Sat.-6 a.m. Mon.-- northbound, no HOV restriction

I-66 HOV Hours

Weekdays, Inside the Beltway

6:30-9:00 a.m. -- HOV-2 eastbound

4:00-6:30 p.m. -- HOV-2 westbound

Weekdays, Outside the Beltway

5:30-9:30 a.m. -- HOV-2 eastbound

3:00-7:00 p.m. -- HOV-2 westbound

Weekends & Other Times

Open to all traffic

Dulles Toll Road Hours

Weekdays

6:30-9:00 a.m. -- HOV-2 eastbound

4:00-6:30 p.m. -- HOV-2 westbound

Weekends & Other Times

Open to all traffic

I-270 in Maryland:

I-270 Hours

Weekdays

6:00-9:00 a.m. -- HOV-2 southbound

3:30-6:30 p.m. -- HOV-2 northbound

Weekends & Other Times

Open to all traffic

Route 50

There is one HOV lane in each direction from Route 301 to the Beltway (I-495). The lanes are restricted to HOV-2 traffic at all times.

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