Motorists can now buy an E-ZPass at 13 AAA Mid-Atlantic stores and branches across Virginia. The price for the electronic toll collection system, which allows people to prepay tolls, is the same that would be charged by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The new outlets come as demand is expected to grow for E-Z Pass. New express lanes on Interstate 495 are expected to open later this year. With a number of other new toll roads coming on-line across the commonwealth, VDOT expects the number of E-Z Pass users to double in the near future.
AAA Mid-Atlantic also will sell E-ZPass Flex. It’s a switchable transponder that lets vehicles with three or more people travel toll-free on the 495 Express Lanes, which run down the middle of the Capital Beltway.
“With the advent of the $1.9 billion, 14-mile Capital Beltway Express Lanes project, the E-Z Pass Flex transponder will become a hot commodity in the Washington metro area,” John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs, said in a statement. “When the high-tech express lanes debut, motorists will need the flex transponder because there will be no toll booths or options to pay cash. To assist them, our northern Virginia retail locations will offer both standard and flex transponders, and all our branches will offer the standard units. Motorists will value the easiness and convenience of walking into a location closer to their homes to purchase a pre-loaded transponder.”
Toll fees will vary on the express lanes, according to congestion. To access and travel the electronic tolling lanes, as well as the future 95 Express lanes, drivers must have an E-ZPass Flex transponder. Without one, drivers with fewer than three occupants will pay a toll. The flex transponder allows carpoolers, with three or more occupants, to designate their vehicles as a “high occupancy vehicle” and to travel the express lanes at no charge.
E-ZPass is accepted at 13 toll roads and bridges in Virginia. Currently, 24 toll agencies in 14 states, including Virginia and Maryland, utilize E-Z Pass.
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