Quality of Life Benefits of Transportation,  Shortened Travel Time,  Virginia

495 Express Lanes

The nearly $2 billion, 14-mile, 495 Express Lanes on the Capital Beltway opened in November 2012 outside of Washington, D.C. This public-private partnership project between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Transurban was the first fully dynamic-tolled lane facility in the region and the starting point of a seamless network of express lanes in Northern Virginia.

Comprised of four new express lanes (two in each direction) from the Springfield interchange to north of the Dulles Toll Road, the 495 Express Lanes project added 50 percent capacity to manage congestion and replaced $260 million of local, aging infrastructure by rebuilding more than 50 new bridges and overpasses. By providing faster and more predictable trips for free to vehicles with three or more occupants, this initiative provided a first-time opportunity for incentivized ridesharing, carpooling and bus travel on Interstate 495.

The 495 Express Lanes have resulted in time-savings and more-reliable travel for facility users since opening. Express lanes’ commuters have experienced approximately 23 minutes of average round-trip savings, and those in the regular lanes have seen a 7 percent reduction in travel time.

The collective 495 and 95 Express Lanes network—also a partnership between the Commonwealth and Transurban—provides more reliable daily trips to about 97,000 toll-paying drivers, 800+ buses and 100,000 carpoolers who travel toll-free. Additionally, these express lanes facilities have generated an estimated $6.3 billion in economic activity, 28,000+ jobs and more than $800 million for small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses.

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