If you currently use I-66 to commute to work, you may have noticed some changes in the past few months, such as toll signage and gantries. These gantries are in testing mode right now, but starting in December, I-66 will operate strictly as express lanes with a toll during peak travel hours.
Tolling will be based on demand with no set maximum and will be in effect Monday through Friday, 5:30-9:30 a.m. (traveling eastbound) and 3:00-7:00 p.m. (traveling westbound). If the tolls are too high and you don’t have enough people in your car to use the E-ZPass Flex option, use this list of transit options to stay sane and save a few bucks on your commute.
Orange Line from Vienna
The Orange Line serves Vienna, Dunn Loring-Merrifield, West Falls Church and East Falls Church along I-66, then continues to Ballston, Virginia Square-GMU, Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn Stations before traveling to New Carrollton Station by way of DC.
Silver Line from Wiehle-Reston East
The Silver Line, while not directly on I-66, serves Reston, Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons Corner and McLean Metro Stations then follows the same path as the Orange Line through Arlington. Once in DC, the Silver Line splits from the Orange Line at Stadium Armory Metro Station to reach its final destination at Largo Town Center Metro Station.
Cost: $2.25 - $6.00 with SmarTrip card, depending on distance traveled
Metrobus 5A will take you from Dulles Airport to DC and back, but can also be used for commuting. Commuters can pick up Metrobus 5A at the Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride for a direct commute to Rosslyn.
Cost: $7.50 with SmarTrip card or cash
Commuters from Gainesville or Manassas can use the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s (PRTC) OmniRide commuter buses. These buses will take commuters to either the Pentagon or to Washington, DC.
Cost: $6.90 with SmarTrip card | $9.20 with cash
The Fairfax Connector Route 599: Pentagon-Crystal City Express takes you from Reston straight to Pentagon and Crystal City in Arlington in as little as 35 minutes.
Cost: $7.50 with SmarTrip or cash
The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Manassas Line offers a relaxing commute to Alexandria, Crystal City, L’Enfant or Union Station and serves commuters from Broad Run, Manassas, Manassas Park, Burke Centre, Rolling Road and Backlick Road VRE Stations.
Cost: $3.40 - $9.80 with a single-ride ticket, depending on distance traveled (multi-ride pass options available at lower rates per ride)
Don’t Forget Emergencies
If you’re using any of these options to commute regularly, register for Guaranteed Ride Home, which provides you with up to four free rides home per year in case of emergency or unscheduled overtime. This is particularly important for those who take commuter buses or the VRE, which run only during rush hour periods, so that you’re always covered if you need to get home quickly.
Not totally sure what all of this is about? Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) has you covered. We've put together some quick facts that will tell you all about the I-66 project, why it’s happening and what you need to keep you going.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners