new toll on I-66

The New Toll on I-66 – What You Need to Know

December 9, 2017 | Lifestyle & Community | By: The Goodhart Group

The New Toll on I-66 –

What You Need to Know

new I-66 tollAs you’ve probably heard, on December 4, 2017, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) implemented a new toll on I-66. This variable toll affects the express lanes on I-66 from I-495 to Route 29. The changes have generated quite the public outcry and have forced affected people to examine their commuting habits. Why? At times, the toll has reached as high as $40 and does not have any upper limit. Many DC area residents are calling it “I-$66” and #highwayrobbery is all the buzz locally on social media.

So what are these big changes? Here’s what you need to know.

The Changes with the New Toll on I-66

  • During weekday rush hours, solo drivers can use this stretch of I-66 by paying a toll. Cars with two or more people can continue to use the lanes for free.
  • The tolls are fluctuating and are based on the amount of traffic in the lanes. Since the new tolls began, these tolls ranged from a low of about $5 to a high of $40 during the peak of the morning commute (around 8 am on Tuesday). The main issue causing the upset? There is no cap on these new tolls!
  • So far, the tolls have stayed below $10 for most of the afternoon and evening commute.
  • The weekday rush hours have been expanded. The new Express Lanes hours on I-66 inside the Beltway are effective every weekday from 5:30-9:30 am traveling eastbound and from 3- 7 pm traveling westbound. These windows are significantly longer than the previous 2.5-hour restricted windows.
  • Any vehicles traveling during these periods now need an E-ZPass transponder. Cars with 2+ people need an E-ZPass Flex transponder switched to HOV-mode to travel in order to avoid the toll.
  • The exemptions for vehicles traveling to and from Dulles International Airport and hybrid vehicles are no longer in effect.
  • During non-peak periods, including weekends, these lanes remain free to all users.

Is There Any Upside?

Well, yes! VDOT reported that on Monday, the average rate of speed along this route was up nearly 20 mph, from 37 mph to 57 mph as compared to the same day last year. Commuters are shaving 10 minutes, on average, off their commutes along this route.

So What Now?


You do have some options to avoid paying the new I-66 toll. You can start carpooling and take advantage of some new park and ride lots. You could also shift the hours of your commute/workday and/or adjust your route. Lastly, you could take public transportation; some additional bus service that has been rolled out in conjunction with the toll.

 What Does the New Toll on I-66 Mean for Locals?

If you live in Fairfax County along the new I-66 toll route, you will certainly see increased traffic along alternate routes, particularly Routes 50, 29 and 7, as well as the George Washington Parkway.

In terms of the new toll structure’s impact on home values along the I-66 corridor, it’s too soon to tell. We will certainly keep a close eye on how this change plays out in the months ahead.

If you’re looking to improve your commute, upsize or downsize, we are here to help! Contact us today to get started.

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