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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Drivers can use the beltway express lanes for free this weekend

A sign in front of Woodburn Elementary School on Gallows Road lets drivers know the toll amounts for using the express lanes. 
Transurban, the company operating the beltway express lanes, is finally doing what it should have done when the toll lanes opened four and a-half months ago: Let drivers try them out for free.

This weekend, April 6-7, people can use the express lanes without paying a toll and without the need for an E-ZPass. The free rides will be effect from 12:01 a.m. on April 6 through 11:59 p.m. on April 7—and will apply to two-axle vehicles only.

Fewer people have been using the express lanes than anticipated, Transurban reported in February, resulting in less revenue for the company. The most-often cited reasons were confusion about how to enter and exit the express lanes.

According to Transurban, “the free weekend is part of an educational campaign to encourage beltway drivers to try the new travel option on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway and see how the Express Lanes can work for them.” The express lanes run through Annandale—from the Springfield interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. There are detailed information and videos online to help people plan a trip on the express lanes.

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