The new 395 Express Lanes that are set to open this fall will have tolls past the Pentagon exit going northbound. This means that drivers who want to continue from the northbound 395 Express Lanes into Washington DC, or enter the 395 Express Lanes just before the 14th Street, will have to pay a toll. But good news for drivers who travel with slugs – if you exit from the 395 Express Lanes to drop off slugs at the Pentagon, you can re-enter the northbound 395 Express Lanes to go over the 14th Street Bridge WITHOUT paying a toll, even if you don’t have 3 people in the vehicle.

Drivers dropping of slugs at the Pentagon and heading to DC will have to switch their E-ZPass Flex from HOV to toll mode, to reflect the number of occupants in the vehicle. The operators’ system will detect that an earlier portion of the trip was made in HOV mode and it won’t charge the driver for the last part of the trip, even though the Flex is set to toll mode. Drivers traveling to DC with two or more slugs on I-395 NB HOT lanes will not be impacted and can leave their E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode.

Afternoon south bound traffic from DC to the Pentagon will not be impacted by 395 Express Lanes, tolls starts south of Eads Road. All cars, trucks, plugin and hybrid vehicles picking up slugs require E-ZPass flex. Exemptions that were applied for “HOV Lanes” does not apply for “395 Express Lanes”. Motor cycle, emergency vehicles and buses continue to drive for free on 395 Express Lanes.

If the Pentagon is not your final destination, consider picking up slugs close to your destination. Pentagon is an excellent aggregation hub for after hour slugging, around holidays and lines with low ridership. But, during the peak hours, consider avoiding the Pentagon and slugging to your final destination. Slugs can save time by avoiding transfer at the Pentagon. Driving directly to DC will save time as traffic on the 14th Street bridge will be less that the current standstill traffic as they are tolled for SOVs. For slug pickup locations check