Skip to comments.DC-area drivers blast I-66 tolling system as fees hit $40 mark
Posted on 12/07/2017 3:11:40 AM PST by markomalley
Outraged Washington, D.C.-area commuters and politicians took to social media Tuesday to blast a new tolling scheme on a busy interstate heading from Virginia into the nations capital, as fees along the route peaked to an eye-popping $40 during the morning rush hour.
The Interstate-66 tolling plan, which launched Monday, opens up express lanes on the highway in northern Virginia to single drivers, as opposed to just carpoolers. But the sticker shock prices being posted on electronic signs along the roadway led some commuters and residents to give the roadway a new nickname.
This is #highwayrobbery. People are just trying to get to work. What happened to a government FOR THE PEOPLE. I'm appalled, one user wrote on Twitter.
Just go ahead & change its name to I-$66," said another.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
So when the express lanes are moving, tolls are quite reasonable, but when the express lanes slow down or stop then the tolls start to skyrocket.
Interstate 66 inside of the I-495 Beltway was formerly HOV (2 or more people per vehicle) during rush hour. Even with that restriction, it always backed up when it got close to the Potomac River. The reason for this is that I-66 turns into Constitution Avenue in Downtown DC.
Naturally when they add the HOT option for single drivers, the tolls are going to skyrocket during peak hours.
Bottom line is that until they add additional lanes to I-66 or make additional limited access routes of ingress into DC from Northern Virginia (right now, there are literally only three routes that are "limited access": I-395, I-66, and the George Washington Parkway), that's just going to be how it is.
What’s the big deal? It’s just money. /sarc
It's just YOUR money. Most of those drivers are government employees who live to regulate and vote Democrat.
I suspect this is a managed situation. Over the past decade in NYC, more streets have been shut down and congestion has increased. Some politicians have brazenly admitted that this is by design....that they want more people riding bicycles and taking public transportation. Meanwhile, tolls rise and hassles increase because, well, people are willing to put up with it. I suspect a privatized roadway would work much better.
Or just reduce the size of the federal government
These streets have been shut down to non-HOV traffic since the 80s. The tolls give single drivers a legal way to use them during rush hour that previously didn’t exist. The only legitimate complaints here are from people legitimately heading to the airport, or from people caught by the half hour extension made either side of the rush hour schedule.
If you have two people in your car, you ride HOV free. Encourage carpooling.
Funny thing is that taxpayers already paid for the road. Now they’re paying for it again.
I ride HOV 3 on 95 and 395 and don’t pay.
Assuming the above is correct, I'm slightly surprised by the current furor. The HOV lanes were installed years ago to promote carpooling. But carpooling remains the exception, not the rule, so the HOV lanes are hugely underutilized -- or would be, except that a lot of solo commuters have been using them illegally. I gather that it's the illegal freeriders who are complaining now. People with legitimate carpools still don't have to pay the toll.
As I understand it, the current action merely opens the HOV lanes to solo commuters who are willing to pay a fare. This is an expansion of availability, not a contraction. This makes sense. That said, the sticker shock is understandable. The pro-toll people, mostly Democrats, talked in terms of $6-7, and tolls were a tough sell at that price. But when they rolled it out this week, the variable tolls hit $34 the first day and spiked over $40 the second day. Promises made, promises broken, quite in the spirit of Obamacare.
What Virginia really should have done is start with a $6 toll, perhaps with a variable peak at $10 at maximum congestion, and see if that helped. The toll could always be raised more if necessary. I'm not opposed in principle to tolls to ration traffic in high congestion areas, but ya gotta be a little smart in how you roll them out.
Elect democrats, this is what you get.
How do they enforce the HOV rules when the highways are jammed? Robo-cameras?
I thought the HOT (express) lanes were based on the level of congestion in the non-express lanes. The trouble with I-66 is there are no non-express lanes to measure.
Around the DC area, I wonder how many of those tolls/toll cards are being “subsidized” by the taxpayers, govt credit cards, etc?
I think this is being done to give politicians and senior bureaucrats an easy commute.
The HOV violation fines are (were) enormous, so they had no problem funding enforcement. With the switch to HOT the fine revenue will drop since many people who cheated would pay even large fines if they were caught and don’t mind paying $40. Before the large fines came, there were people who cheated daily and paid the small fines.
The richest counties in the nation and these liberals whine about a measly $40 commute? Ha!
Expense reports reimbursed for the royal. For everyone else, welcome to pay to play, the peasant edition.
There is a special kind of EZ Pass called an EZ Pass Flex:
Note the switch: if you have over the HOV number of people (either 2 or 3), you flip the switch into the "HOV" position.
The trick is to know how they determine people are attempting fraud when flipping that switch.
I believe they use police on the ground for that purpose.
Bingo! We have a winner. Not only DownSize DC, but decentralize the agencies that are there. There is no reason to concentrate the corruption and insanity.
I thought so as well. However, I got caught one time on a Saturday when there was an accident right at the terminus of I-95 South express lanes. It cost me $5 for 25 miles and $20 for the last two miles because the express lanes were blocked due tot the accident, causing that two mile stretch to skyrocket in price.
(BTW, the question is: why use the express lanes on the weekend? Answer: because I-95 in VA can get clogged up 24x7)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.