The 495 Expressways on Northern Virginia’s capital beltway generated an average of nearly 18,600 daily trips and $828,000 total revenue in December 2012, reports concessionaire Transurban. That’s a drop in the bucket for the $2 billion project, which opened November, but the private-sector operator anticipated a long, slow ramp-up.
As congestion increased, demand for the tolled express lanes also increased, resulting in escalation of the dynamic pricing. To travel the full length of the Express Lanes, the minimum toll price for the period was $1.65 and the maximum peak price was $3.70. The average toll per trip, including shorter trips, has been $1.07. Prices are expected to escalate as more motorists use the express lanes to avoid congestion in the non-tolled lanes.
High Occupancy Vehicles (three or more passengers), buses and motorcycles, which use the express lanes for free, comprised 7% of users.