GWRideConnect NEWS

395 HOT Lanes Open November


The 395 Express Lanes are coming this November

The I-395 HOV lanes will become Express Lanes in November. Thanks to the 95 Express Lanes, most HOV customers along the I-95/I-395 corridor are familiar with how to use Express Lanes and already have an E-ZPass® Flex. (And, they know how great it is to ride toll-free.)

· The 395 Express Lanes will extend 8 miles from near Edsall Road in Fairfax County to the 14th Street Bridge near Washington D.C.

· Just like the 95 and 495 Express Lanes, the 395 Express Lanes will use dynamic tolls and be free for HOV-3+ vehicles with an E-ZPass® Flex set to “HOV ON.” The rules will apply 24/7.

· The Seminary Road south ramp will remain HOV-only at all times.


Drop off carpool passengers near the Pentagon or Pentagon City?

To avoid disruptions to carpooling in the I-395 corridor and give commuters another great reason to try HOV-3 travel, carpooler drivers will go free to DC, even if they drop off their passengers on Eads Street. Here’s how it will work:

1. A driver carpools on the northbound 395 Express Lanes with their Flex in HOV Mode and exits the Lanes at Eads Street to drop off passengers at the Pentagon or Pentagon City.

2. The driver then sets the Flex to toll mode and gets back on the northbound Lanes from Eads Street.

3. Since the technology on the Lanes will know the vehicle was just carpooling a short time earlier, the driver won’t be charged a toll for the last part of their trip.

Drivers should put their Flex in toll mode to avoid getting pulled over by Virginia State Police troopers who will enforce for cheaters.


Carpoolers and vanpoolers who don’t have an E-ZPass® Flex should get one.

The E-ZPass® Flex is available at select DMV locations, retailers and online. Head over to the Virginia E-ZPass® website at www.EZPassVA.com.


395 Express Lanes: Slugs, and drivers, are free to DC

The 395 Express Lanes will open this November and the project team has announced a perk to keep slugging strong on I-395.

When the 395 Express Lanes open, drivers who carpool up to Eads Street and exit the Lanes to drop off sluggers will be able to get back on the Lanes for free – but other drivers who first get on the Lanes here will pay a toll. (Of course, if you carpool the entire trip into DC, it’s free as well.)

That’s right, drivers who take sluggers to Eads Street get to go free for the rest of the trip.


How will it work?

1. Carpool up the northbound 395 Express Lanes with your Flex in HOV mode, just like normal.

2. Get off at Eads Street to drop off slugs at the Pentagon or Pentagon City. (Or keep carpooling into DC.)

3. Switch your Flex to “HOV off” — since you don’t have 3 people in the car anymore — before you get back on the northbound Lanes from Eads Street. That way you don’t risk getting pulled over by Virginia State Police troopers who are looking for real cheaters.

4. Even though your Flex will be set to “HOV off,” the operators will know you carpooled to Eads Street. You won’t be charged to finish your trip to the city. Pretty great, right?


But what if I forget to flip the switch back?

A sign on the ramp to get back on the Lanes will remind you to flip the switch. And, the operator of Lanes is giving Virginia State Police tools to help to validate the earlier part of your trip, just in case you forget to switch and get pulled over.

It’s that easy – a flip of the switch and you go free to DC.

If you don’t have an E-ZPass Flex yet, visit EZPassVA.com.


The express version

·     We’ve launched the 395 Express Lanes hub to help get you ready for the fall opening

·     Check back regularly for more information about getting ready for the new Lanes and a chance to win free travel


The 395 Express Lanes are on the way

We’ve recently updated the Express Lanes website with a 395 Express Lanes hub to help you get ready for the fall opening.

Learn all about:

·     How the 395 Express Lanes Lanes will work

·     Improvements to the 395 Express Lanes will bring

·     Carpooling and HOV-3 rules on the 395 Express Lanes


Get ready for the Lanes


Win free travel on the Lanes

Be on the lookout for more information about your chance to win free travel on the Lanes. You don’t want to miss this opportunity.


Stay up to date

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the most up to date information on what’s happening on the Lanes.



October is Passenger Rail Month

The Virginia DRPT (Department of Rail and Public Transportation) is offering $10 tickets to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Virginia-sponsored passenger rail. The $10 ticket deal is only offered for travel between October 1 and 10. The DRPT is reporting that over 10,000 tickets have already been purchased through the $10 anniversary deal since the announcement was made. One-way tickets can still be purchased until October 10 on any Amtrak Northeast Regional train within Virginia and Washington, D.C. using code V110 at check out. 

In addition to vanpools and carpools–which you can find by filling out our free application–rail service is a great transit option for commuting or traveling for fun. October would be the perfect month to try rail transit with numerous discount codes and offers to save you money. Amtrak, VRE and Metro services are great alternatives to driving into the city. Save on parking, gas and the headache of traffic by choosing an alternative to car travel for Passenger Rail Month!

Virginia is offering other exclusive discounts on Amtrak travel throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C., introducing the Virginia Anytime Fare (15% off) and the Virginia Student Fare (25% off for ages 13-25 with valid student ID). In-state travelers can also enjoy other select discounts supported by DRPT, including ShareFares, which allow travelers a savings of up to 45% on tickets when traveling with up to five companions, and the Saturday BOGO Sale, which offers customers one free adult ticket with the purchase of one adult ticket for Saturday travel on the Amtrak Northeast Regional service.

Discount codes include: 

  • $10 Fare – V110 
  • 15% off Virginia Anytime Fare – V552 
  • Virginia Student Fare – V449 
  • ShareFares – V291 
  • Saturday BOGO Sale – C222 

For more information on the terms and conditions of all Amtrak discounts available to Virginia travelers, and to book online, please visit: www.amtrak.com/virginia

Need suggestions for taking advantage of $10 train tickets? Here are some events that are happening in DC for the month of October.



    Capital BrewFest: Fall Seasonals Beer, Wine, …
    Sat, 12:30 – 8:00 PM
    The Bullpen, 1201 Half St SE
    Washington, DC


    Mon, 11 AM – 4 PM
    Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington, DC


    Taste of DC festival
    Washington, DC


    All Things Go 2019
    Sat, Oct 12 – Sun, Oct 13
    Union Market, 1309 5th St NE
    Washington, DC


    Nightmare Festival 2019
    Sat, Oct 19 – Sun, Oct 20
    The Anthem, 901 Wharf St SW
    Washington, DC


    Taste of DC festival
    Sat, Oct 26 – Sun, Oct 27
    Washington, DC


    All Things Go Music Festival Sunday Only Tickets
    Sun, 1 PM
    Union Market, 1309 5th St NE
    Washington, DC


    Snallygaster Beer Festival
    Sat, 12 – 6 PM
    Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington, DC


    The Taste of DC
    Sat, Oct 26 – Sun, Oct 27
    Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
    Washington, DC


    2019 Harvest Festival
    Sun, 11 AM – 2 PM
    Capitol Cider House, 3930 Georgia Ave NW
    Washington, DC


    Fri, 10:30 AM
    DC Armory, 2001 E Capitol St SE
    Washington, DC


    Free Community Day: October
    Sun, 12 – 5 PM
    National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave NW
    Washington, DC


    Mexico in a Bottle Washington DC
    Tue, 6 – 9 PM
    Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St NW
    Washington, DC




    Sat, 3 – 11 PM

    Dupont Circle