“The peak toll paid by drivers in the HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway topped $11 this month,” reports Robert Thomson. “Tolls have been rising along with the traffic volume since the lanes opened in November 2012. The quarterly report from Transurban, the company that operates the 495 Express Lanes, says the variable toll reached $11.55 on April 3.”
The increasing tolls directly correspond to a dramatic increase in the number of workday trips in the lanes, according to Thomson’s report. “The average number of workday trips during the January-March period was 37,969, according to the Transurban report. That was an increase of about 44 percent over January-March 2013.” The dramatic increase reverses early, underwhelming use of the toll lanes. But bad weather and unusual accidents have also increased congestion during recent months, so whether the trend continues remains to be seen.