(WTOP File Photo/Dave Dildine)
WASHINGTON — Toll rates on the 95 and 495 express lanes have spiked in recent weeks with some tolls costing drivers as much as $30 to travel just 14 miles.
“Last couple weeks have been challenging, especially on 495 South, ” spokesman Mike McGurk said.
During the past several weeks, the tolls have tended to rise more sharply than usual in the 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. hours. McGurk said just an hour earlier or later, tolls can be 33 percent to 60 percent lower because fewer cars are in the lanes.
McGurk said it was too soon to tell for sure whether the increase is tied to more people paying tolls to use the lanes or more people using the lanes as carpools. But a large majority of vehicles that have used the 495 Express Lanes since they opened in 2012 have been toll-payers.
Toll prices rise as more cars join the lanes in order to ensure that traffic continues to flow. Toll prices do not directly reflect the amount of traffic in the regular lanes.
In cases of crashes in the lanes, drivers who reach out to Transurban can obtain refunds on a case-by-case basis.