The 395 Express Lanes will open this November and the project team has announced a perk to keep slugging strong on I-395.
When the 395 Express Lanes open, drivers with two or more slugs who drive up to Eads Street and exit the Lanes to drop off slugs will be able to get back on the Lanes for free – but other drivers who first get on the Lanes here will pay a toll. Of course, if you have two or more slugs the entire trip into DC, it’s free as well.
That’s right, drivers who take slugs to Eads Street (The Pentagon or Crystal CIty) get to go free for the rest of the trip.
How will it work?
- Carpool up the northbound 395 Express Lanes with your Flex in HOV mode, just like normal.
- Get off at Eads Street to drop off slugs at the Pentagon or Pentagon City. (Or keep carpooling into DC.)
- Switch your Flex to “HOV off” — since you don’t have 3 people in the car anymore — before you get back on the northbound Lanes from Eads Street. That way you don’t risk getting pulled over by Virginia State Police troopers who are looking for real cheaters.
- Even though your Flex will be set to “HOV off,” the operators will know you carpooled to Eads Street. You won’t be charged to finish your trip to the city. Pretty great, right?
But what if I forget to flip the switch back?
A sign on the ramp to get back on the Lanes will remind you to flip the switch. And, the operator of Lanes is giving Virginia State Police tools to help to validate the earlier part of your trip, just in case you forget to switch and get pulled over.
It’s that easy – a flip of the switch and you go free to DC.
Drivers using south bound 14th Street bridge in the afternoon to pickup slugs at the Pentagon are not affected, make sure to flip your Flex to HOV mode after picking up slugs.
If you don’t have an E-ZPass Flex yet, visit EZPassVA.com.