RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Michelle Holland
michelle.holland@vdot.virginia.gov
Jennifer McCord
jennifer.mccord@vdot.virginia.gov
NOVA-121711

Dec. 12, 2017



First Week Update: 66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway
Data from first four days shows faster, more reliable trips on I-66

FAIRAX – Morning and afternoon commutes were faster and travel times more reliable during the first four days of I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway operations, according to data released today by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

“Based on four days of data, it is clear that the Express Lanes on I-66 Inside the Beltway are already providing an improved and more reliable trip for carpoolers, bus riders and solo drivers who choose to pay,” said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. “Travel times on I-66 were 10-12 minutes over the four-hour rush period last week compared with 15 to 30 minutes last December, and travel times on parallel roads are either similar to last year or improved.”

Drivers who chose to travel alone during rush hours paid an average round-trip price of $14.28. Over the initial four days of the I-66 Express Lanes, average prices during morning peak hours were $10.25 and average prices during afternoon peak hours were $4.03.

Average Prices through Dec 7, 2017 on I-66 Express Lanes

Eastbound
(AM)

Westbound
(PM)

Daily Total

September 2015 Estimate
Average Price (HOV-2+ free)


$9.00


$8.00


$17.00

December 4, 2017
Average Price (HOV-2+ free)


$10.70


$3.80


$14.50

December 5, 2017
Average Price (HOV-2+ free)


$12.87


$4.10


$16.97

December 6, 2017
Average Price (HOV-2+ free)


$8.20


$3.91


$12.11

December 7, 2017
Average Price (HOV-2+ free)


$9.23


$4.30


$13.53

 

Further analysis of the first four days of Express Lanes indicates the following:

  • Vehicle trips in the morning period ranged from 13,390 to 14,548 vehicle trips. In the afternoon, vehicle trips ranged from 15,798 to 17,401.
  • The percent of carpool trips increased markedly through the week. During Monday morning’s commute, 38 percent of trips were carpools. During Wednesday and Thursday mornings’ commutes, the percent of carpools rose to 45 and 43 percent, respectively.
  • A.M. prices averaged $10.25 across the four days. Morning prices peaked at $40.00 on Tuesday for one six-minute interval, with no more than 28 drivers paying this price. This price was not realized throughout the remainder of the week as morning trips are being more evenly distributed across the express lane hours.
  • P.M. prices were consistently lower, averaging $4.03, across the four days. Afternoon prices peaked at $26.75 on Thursday. A better distribution of trips across the four-hour period, the lack of a merge between two highways westbound on I-66, and a variety of P.M. destinations contribute to lower average prices in the afternoons.

I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway Usage for First Four Days

December 4

December 5

December 6

December 7

EB-AM

WB-PM

EB-AM

WB-PM

EB-AM

WB-PM

EB-AM

WB-PM

Vehicle Trips

13,473

16,307

14,548

15,798

13,390

16,113

14,388

17,401

% Carpoolers

38

30

41

34

45

35

43

33

Highest Price / No. of
vehicles that paid

$34.50
/ 39

$12.50
/ 33

$40.00
/ 28

$10.75
/ 46

$23.50
/ 34

$13.25
/ 28

$26.75
/ 18

$21.50
/ 25

% less than $10

34

69

33

65

38

63

36

65

% less than $5

17

43

17

38

19

40

17

38

Drivers using I-66 during periods prior to the former HOV hours (before 6:30 a.m.) also experienced a faster and more reliable trip. In December 2016, traffic at 6 a.m. traveled at 30 miles per hour (mph) or less, and speeds did not increase to 45 mph until after 7 a.m and could only be maintained for a 15-20 minute period until it dropped to 25 mph and did not recover to above 45 mph until after 10 a.m. Last week, I-66 Express Lanes traffic maintained highway speeds of approximately 55 to 60 miles per hour each day for the full four-hour morning commute. See chart below.

I-66 Travel Speeds

In addition, drivers on parallel arterial roadways including Routes 7, 29 and 50 experienced similar or improved travel times over the first four days. See charts below for details.

VDOT is responsible for operating and maintaining the I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway. It takes about three days for operators to process each vehicle trip on the Express Lanes, to provide information such as traffic volumes and toll pricing. Toll revenue is invested back in the I-66 corridor expanding bus, carpool, and other travel options to move more people more efficiently.

The Express Lanes, which allow carpools to continue to use the lanes for free and solo drivers to travel legally for the first time ever during rush hours, are part of a comprehensive multimodal set of improvements to the I-66 corridor. Other key elements moving ahead include widening I-66 from the Dulles Toll Road to Ballston, and continued investments in new transit service and other services like carpooling incentives.

Click here for more information about the I-66 Eastbound Widening Project and new transit service and other multimodal projects in the I-66 Corridor.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 – Morning Rush: Routes 7, 29, 50 and I-66

VA-7 Eastbound 12/06/17US-29 Northbound AMUS-50 Eastbound AMI-66 Eastbound AM

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 – Evening Rush

VA-7 Westbound PMUS-29 Southbound PMUS-50 Westbound PMI-66 Westbound PM

Thursday, December 7, 2017 – Morning Rush

VA-7 Eastbound AMUS-29 Northbound AMUS-50 Eastbound AMI-66 Eastbound AM  

Thursday, December 7, 2017 – Evening Rush

VA-7 Westbound PMUS-29 Southbound PMUS-50 Westbound PMI-66 Westbound PMClick to download high resolution versions of graphs

  

                                                                                               END



Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Dec. 12, 2017