Virginia DOT Imposes HOV-3+ Rule Across All Suburban DC Express Lanes

NBC News Washington, DC, reports, new HOV requirements took effect in northern Virginia today. Motorists using I-66 express lanes now need at least two passengers and an E-ZPass Flex transponder in order to travel toll-free. (Virginia DOT previously observed an HOV-2+ standard in the lanes.) The article also notes that VDOT and the region’s Commuter Connections organization are sponsoring ‘Pool Rewards, a program to induce more commuters to start sharing rides by paying a variety of cash incentives.

The Washington Post reports, “The change has some commuters juggling to find an additional passenger to ride the lanes free. Several drivers were posting in search of carpoolers in a Facebook group that facilitates ‘slug lines’ in the corridor — a system of casual carpooling that allows drivers to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and cut time off their commute.” VDOT said the new occupancy rule standardizes HOV requirements around Northern Virginia and advances its goal of “moving more people with fewer vehicles.”