Express Lanes on I-66 Inside the Beltway is already improving morning and afternoon commutes after just four days of implementation, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
According to an analysis of Monday’s commutes, average commuting times were shown to be faster than the same time last December with travel times of 10-12 minutes in the morning as compared to last December’s 15-30 minutes. Afternoon travel times were also 10-12 minutes instead of last year’s 10-20 minutes.
The toll price also decreased, with the average toll rate price at $14.50. The morning average rate was $10.50 while the afternoon average rate was $3.80. The estimated average toll rate in 2015 was $17.00
Already thousands of cars are using the new express lanes. On Monday, over 13,000 cars used them during the morning rush and over 16,000 cars used them during the afternoon rush.
The Express Lanes allow solo drivers the ability to use the I-66 Inside the Beltway legally during rush hours and are part of an improvement meant to “unlock gridlock,” said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. “We want to move more people, improve connectivity and provide additional travel choices,” Layne said in an email.
Travel on parallel routes such as Route 50, Route 29, and Route 7 have also shown improvement or similar commutes as compared to last December.