Employees Return to Offices and Easier Commutes

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By Dawn Klavon | Provided by 66 Express Mobility Partners 

Like it or not, more employees are heading back to the office. According to a survey conducted by Resume Builder, by the end of 2024, 90% of companies will require employees to work in person at least some of the time.

That can add up to bigger headaches for commuters, with clogged highways and increased drive times.

The good news for Prince William County commuters: I-66 Express Lanes and OmniRide can ease tensions for stressed return-to-office employees. I-66 officials offer helpful tips to make your commute seamless.

“If you haven’t commuted in a while, the first thing to determine is whether you’ll take OmniRide, join a carpool, or commute by yourself—the 66 Express partners with OmniRide to make mass-transit more efficient in Prince William County,” said Nancy Smith, Corporate Affairs Director for I-66 Express Mobility Partners. “If you opt to drive a carpool or drive yourself, it’s a good idea to keep your E-ZPass account up to date and make sure the transponder is always mounted properly on the windshield.”

When E-ZPass accounts are in good standing, that means it has sufficient funds, and your license plate is associated with the account. Drivers can update their E-ZPass at ezpassva.com.

Smith added that like any new roadway, it takes time for drivers to become familiar with entrances, exits, and signage.

“If you’ve never driven the 66 Express, visit our website at Ride66Express.com to familiarize yourself with the facility before your first trip,” she said. “Look over the corridor map, plan your trip, and get your questions answered on our FAQ page—and for a better understanding of how tolling works on the 66 Express, this video gives a quick overview of the segmental dynamic tolling model used along the corridor: 66 Express Dynamic Tolling.”

“Commuters in Prince William are invited to contact the friendly, trained, Manassas-based Customer Service Team at 1-833-643-2867 during our Monday through Friday business hours with any questions or concerns,” said Smith.

Benefits of the 66 Express Lanes

“Drivers enjoy a 70-mph speed limit for the entire 66 Express corridor between Gainesville and the Beltway, and the managed lanes are configured to maintain an average of at least 55 miles per hour at all times,” Smith said. “The 66 Express is the fastest way to get from western Prince William to Fairfax County, the Capital Beltway, Arlington County, the District and beyond.”

The lanes provide a reliable, congestion-free travel option for all types of commuters, and with the added road capacity, drive times in the general-purpose lanes have improved as well. Drivers in the express lanes save even more time.

There is an additional benefit for carpoolers, who can travel toll-free when HOV3+ on the 66 Express. A carpool or vanpool must carry three or more people and have an E-ZPass Flex transponder switched to HOV On to enjoy a toll-free trip.

If drivers ever need assistance on the roadway with a flat tire, disabled vehicle, or empty gas tank, they can reach Virginia State Police and the 66 Express’ own Roadside Assistance Team by calling #77 on their mobile phones.

“We’ve recorded steady monthly usage increases since all 22.5 miles of the 66 Express opened ahead of schedule last November, so commuters and businesses across the region are experiencing the convenience of the lanes more and more,” Smith said.

 OmniRide: A Great Option

For folks in Prince William commuting to DC or Arlington, the 66 Express Outside the Beltway makes OmniRide Express an even better transit option. Whether commuters are traveling OmniRide Express routes between Haymarket and Rosslyn, Gainesville and the Pentagon, or Manassas and downtown Washington, D.C., the lanes of the 66 Express provide Prince William commuters with a direct, reliable, hassle-free connection to all the major hubs of the region.

“OmniRide commuters are also able to take advantage of two new park-and-ride facilities, totaling more than 4,000 spaces, as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project,” Smith said.

In addition, I-66 Express Mobility Partners, the operators of the 66 Express Outside the Beltway, is supporting future transit improvements in the corridor with annual payments to the Commonwealth of Virginia totaling $800 million over the 50-year term of their public/private partnership.


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