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Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to transform I-66 both inside and outside of the Beltway to better mitigate traffic. From Exit 64 (I-495 interchange) in Fairfax County to Exit 72 (Rt 29/Lee Highway) in Arlington County, the stretch of interstate between these two points are defined as inside the Beltway.
I-66 operates strictly as express lanes with a toll during peak travel hours during the week. Outside of tolling hours of operation, entry to the express lanes is free.
In the first year, toll revenue will fund 10 multimodal projects to enhance predictability and travel time on I-66. Projects include expanded bus service, extended transit access through bikeshare, real-time transit displays, and more, as selected by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC).
Tolls are in effect Monday through Friday, 5:30-9:30 a.m. (traveling eastbound) and 3:00-7:00 p.m. (traveling westbound). Tolls are not in effect on weekends and holidays.
There is no maximum toll along the I-66 express lanes. It is based entirely on demand for the lanes and prices will adjust with current traffic volume.
Dynamic tolling means the price that a driver will pay to use the express lanes is based entirely on the demand for the road. Toll prices adjust to manage traffic and to maintain a free flow speed of 45 mph. When there is more traffic, the toll price will be higher; when there is less traffic, the toll price will be lower.
The standard is best if you drive alone. The flex is best if you will carpool (HOV2+ is free)
If you do not use your E-ZPass Flex within the first six months, you will be charged a small fee. You should only purchase the flex if you plan to regularly carpool during commute hours.
You can purchase one from the Arlington Commuter Stores as well as at the DMV, AAA, and select grocery stories. Remember: you need an E-ZPass (standard or flex) to travel the I-66 lanes during the toll hours of operation. If you don't have one installed while traveling on I-66 during toll hours, you will receive a toll violation notice in the mail with instructions on how to pay.
An E-ZPass costs $35 with $15 available in toll fare. The remaining $20 balance is available as toll fare once you register your E-ZPass online, essentially making the E-ZPass free.