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E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
23 posts
88 reviews
E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

We'll be driving north on I-95 on a Sunday morning from Fayetteville, NC to Alexandria, where we'll be staying for the week. When we leave Alexandria going back south, it'll be another Sunday and we plan to leave around 8am. I've been reading how congested I-95 is in Northern VA and wondering if we should get a E-ZPass Flex for our two trips coming and going to Alexandria. Also, would it help us driving into DC? If so, I'm hoping I could order the transponder to be mailed to us so we'll have it the Sunday we drive up. I appreciate your advice for our trip!

7 replies to this topic
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,045 posts
123 reviews
1. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

We make the drive between Arlington and Fayetteville on a regular basis and do not use EZ Pass. Traffic will likely be congested between Fredericksburg and Alexandria, but I don't think it will be "horrible, horrible" mid-afternoon on a Sunday unless there's an accident. (This assumes an early departure from Fayetteville. Traffic will be worse in the late afternoon/early evening as folks return from various weekend trips.) And if you are are leaving Alexandria on a Sunday morning at 8am to return to Fayetteville, traffic shouldn't be bad at all.

You won't need EZ Pass to get from Alexandria to DC as it's not a toll-road.

As you approach Fredericksburg, I suggest you tune into FM 103.5 (WTOP Radio) as they give a traffic report every 10 minutes "on the 8's" -- :08, :18, :28, etc. It will let you know how the traffic is going on I-95 and you can adjust your route, if necessary.

US
Level Contributor
5,838 posts
37 reviews
2. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

We sat in miserable stop and go traffic on a drive on 95 coming back from the beach. We have an EZ Pass and I urged dh to take the EZ Pass lanes but, I believe, the toll was $7-8 and he wasn't willing to pay that. I was! I couldn't force the car over into those lanes though. Tolls can be really high- are you prepared to pay to avoid traffic? If so, go for it.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
23 posts
88 reviews
3. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

Thank you both very much for your replies! I will mull them over and consider if we want to invest in a transponder "just in case". I'm not familiar with the EZ Pass fees and if they offer a refund on any $ that might be left over. Since we live in GA it might be difficult to obtain too. From what I've read on the VDOT website it costs $35 to get the transponder....

Alexandria, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Alexandria
Level Contributor
606 posts
172 reviews
4. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

I live inside the beltway and infrequently use my EZPass Flex. If you have 2 or more people (I believe??!!) there is no cost to using the express lanes. I know the pass works up and down the east coast. We mostly use it to get east to west on the Beltway during the week when we absolutely must make an appt, as the beltway can be fickle at rush hour.

On a recent vacation trip south during Friday rush hour, we got on at Springfield heading south. The cost was more than 30 dollars Spfld to Quantico. It was worth EVERY PENNY!! You can purchase them at certain retail stores. You might consider stopping at one of the retail facilities before you hit the Express lanes after Fredricksburg. It can be helpful to stash in the car.

As for using it inside the beltway I-395 to Washington, I will leave that to others to respond, as I'm not sure how it works.

Hope this is helpful.

https:/…Retail-Locations.aspx

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,045 posts
123 reviews
5. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

The HOV requirements are for 3 people, not 2. So you can’t get a “free ride” on the Express Lanes unless you have 3 people in your car.

You could get a refund for any unused portion of your EZ Pass, but you have to mail the transponder back.

Here’s a link to the FAQs which may be useful: https:/…fortyfour

Edited: 06 August 2018, 19:16
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

At the times you are planning to drive, unless there is something like an accident, you will not need to use the express lanes.

Heading south at 8AM Sunday will be no issue.

Heading north on Sunday it depends on what time you arrive at Fredericksburg. If you get there by late afternoon, expect heavy traffic. Earlier than that and it is not too bad, heavy but not jammed.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, Charlottesville, Virginia, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
22,149 posts
292 reviews
7. Re: E-ZPass for our visit to Alexandria/DC?

Traffic on 95 this Sunday was a zoo... Traffic backed up for hours North of Fredericksburg

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