It’s Time to Get Your E-ZPass

495 Express Lanes open soon. Now through August 31 get an E-ZPass and enter to win a MINI.

Chances are you know you'll need an E-ZPass® for the new Express Lanes opening later this year.  Now's the time to get one.

To help things along, this summer there is a three-month car giveaway contest designed to accelerate the adoption of E-ZPass and the new E-ZPass® Flex℠ among Northern Virginia.  The winner will custom-design his or her own MINI from Passport MINI of Alexandria.

To enter the contest, participants must register their valid E-ZPass on the 495 Express Lanes website by August 31, 2012.  Drivers who do not currently have an E-ZPass can visit the website to learn where to get one, register on the Express Lanes website and enter to win the contest -- complete rules and regulations are available on site.

The MINI giveaway is part of an educational campaign to prepare Virginia Beltway travelers for the new travel option on the 495 Express Lanes, providing a faster, more predictable trip on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. To keep traffic moving at free flowing speeds, all drivers will need an E-ZPass to use the Express Lanes –- there are no toll booths or options to pay cash.

Carpoolers will need the new E-ZPass Flex to ensure a toll-free trip on the Express Lanes.  The E-ZPass Flex will allow drivers to select toll-paying or HOV mode by sliding a switch on the bottom of the device. The E-ZPass Flex can be used to pay tolls on any facility that accepts E-ZPass, regardless of the position of the switch.

Toll-paying drivers can use a regular E-ZPass or the new Flex set to toll-paying mode to pay their toll electronically at highway speed.

Tolls for the Express Lanes will be dynamic, meaning they will change periodically based on real-time traffic conditions to keep the lanes free flowing. Toll rates will be displayed on electronic message signs in advance of each entrance to the Express Lanes, and drivers will have ample time to decide whether to take the Express Lanes or use the regular Beltway lanes.

Been putting off getting your E-ZPass?  Now’s the time to get it, enter to win the Mini and start planning your Express Lanes route.

For more information about the E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex, visit www.495expresslanes.com/using-ezpass.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Neal Stevens July 02, 2012 at 05:57 PM
If I have a Smart Tag/E-ZPass now, do I have to get an EasyPass-Flex to ride the new Express Lanes (with three in the vehicle)? If not, do I still get a free ride because of three in the vehicle, with the older Smart Tag/E-ZPass? Thanks. Neal S. Springfield, VA
Nancy-jo Manney July 02, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Yes, you will need to get an E-ZPass Flex so that you may use the 495 Express Lanes as HOV-3 and not pay a toll. Prior to entering the Express Lanes, if you have 3 or more in your vehicle, you will need to flip a switch on your E-ZPass Flex and you will not be charged the toll. You may also use this same E-ZPass Flex to pay the toll on the Express Lanes if you are solo (or only 2) in your car. And the E-ZPass Flex may be used to pay tolls on the east coast wherever E-ZPass is accepted. Later this month you'll be able to get the new E-ZPass Flex at some local retail locations (i.e. a service station). As soon as that list comes out we will get the info out to Patch.com readers.
Neal Stevens July 03, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Thanks Nancy-Jo. Seems that when we get the new flex pass, we can leave the flex switch on all the time. Then we do not have to think about it, right?
Nancy-jo Manney July 03, 2012 at 03:58 PM
As long as you will be using the 495 Express Lanes for HOV-3 purposes, yes, you can keep the switch in HOV mode. However, if you want/need to use the 495 Express Lanes to get to a meeting quickly (while solo) or make an urgent trip home (while solo) you will need to turn your E-ZPass to the toll mode.
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