Express Lanes Offer Tips for Peak Holiday Traffic Season

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Provided by Express Lanes


A mix of travel factors including increased holiday traffic, Metro SafeTrack work and seasonal changes such as fewer daylight hours are causing changing traffic patterns and increasing congestion on I-495 and I-95. Customers can save significantly on tolls by simply avoiding the peak of rush hour. Toll prices are 33 to 60 percent less expensive during the hour just before or after the peak travel periods of 5:00 to 6:00 p. m. and 7:00 to 8:00 a. m.

“We want to equip our customers with helpful information so they can make the best choices for their travel and have the smoothest possible experience on the Express Lanes,” said Mike McGurk, spokesman, Transurban.  “As the operators of the Express Lanes, it’s our goal to help our customers through the peak holiday travel season.”

McGurk stated that increased traffic volumes and higher toll pricing is expected through the holiday season and Metro SafeTrack work which is scheduled to be completed by December 21.

Drivers traveling the I-95 and I-495 corridors during rush hour periods are advised to follow these tips:

Avoid the peak travel time on the Express Lanes to skip the highest tolls.

  • Tolls reach their highest on the Express Lanes between 7:00 to 8:00 a. m. and 5:00 and 6:00 p. m. during the peak of rush hour.
  • By traveling an hour earlier or later, drivers can shave between 33 and 60 percent off the peak period toll price.

Check the Express Lanes mobile app to see current travel conditions before hitting the road.

  • Review current toll prices and live traffic cameras on the Express Lanes mobile app. Toll price alerts can be delivered directly via SMS text message or email.
  • The app is free to download and available for iPhone and Android devices.

Explore carpool and transit options to travel toll-free on the Express Lanes.

  • Carpooling with three or more passengers is free on the Express Lanes with an E-ZPass Flex. A growing option of ridesharing mobile apps and organizations has made it easier to connect with other commuters to carpool.
  • The PRTC and Fairfax Connector bus service provide travel routes on the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.  Please visit for more information.
  • Visit for links to carpooling organizations and transit options.

Don’t drive distracted.

  • Distracted driving is a leading cause of regional incidents and a major contributor to roadway delays. Even minor fender-benders sitting in the shoulder cause rubbernecking slowdowns.
  • Join the Phones Down. Touchdown. campaign with quarterback Kirk Cousins and take the pledge to drive distraction-free at PhonesDownTouchdown.com

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