HOT lanes rebranded to 495 Express Lanes

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A new educational campaign began this week to prepare Washington, D.C.-area motorists for changes that new express lanes will bring to a 14-mile section of the Capital Beltway by the end of 2012.

The campaign is rebranding the project — formerly known as HOT lanes — to 495 Express Lanes, which will match signage used on the Beltway. A new website, will ,help motorists understand how the new lanes will work, plan customized routes to use the lanes and be able to sign up for email alerts.

The new lanes include two high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on both sides of the Beltway in Virginia between the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. The toll prices will vary based on current traffic conditions. The company estimates that toll prices will range from 20 cents per mile to $1.25 cents per mile.

Carpoolers with three or more people, buses, motorcycles and emergency vehicles can use the lanes for free.

The lanes will be designed to keep traffic flowing in the express lanes. Driver will only be able to pay electronically with E-ZPass.

“Between the new exits and on-ramps, the new travel options and the significant increase in capacity, the Beltway will be wholly different than just a few years ago,” said Tim Steinhilber, general manager for the project at Transurban, the company building the toll lanes. “Drivers and local businesses need to understand the scale of this change, examine the details to prepare to use them and see how the lanes will benefit them.”


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