Transurban, operator of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the 495 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia by launching a travel giveaway of $5,000 in free travel prizes and a special $10,000 community grant. The 495 Express Lanes have provided a broad range of benefits to the region over the past five years of operations, as well as faster and more predictable travel for buses, carpoolers and drivers. Since year one, the 495 Express Lanes have attracted many area commuters, supporting a four-fold increase in carpool trips and 75 percent increase in bus trips. Travelers on the 495 Express Lanes today enjoy on average 23 minutes of time savings during rush hour commute,1 and drivers on the regular 495 lanes benefit as well — with northbound morning rush hour traffic travel times improving by 8 percent.
“Today we celebrate five years of helping our customers on the Beltway make it to a meeting on time, get home for dinner with family and travel to work without the anxiety that comes with hitting an unexpected traffic jam,” said Jennifer Aument, group general manager of Transurban North America. “Whether they pay tolls, ride in a bus or carpool, we value all our customers and look forward to working with our partners at VDOT to continually find new ways to provide them with a better Beltway in the years to come.”
Transurban commemorated the fifth anniversary of the 495 Express Lanes this morning at Tysons Corner Center with the help of Santa and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Tysons Corner Station 29, which gave Santa a ride up the Express Lanes to celebrate the important transportation project milestone. Santa took one of the first rides on the 495 Express Lanes when they opened to the public in November 2012.
5 Years of Benefits for Drivers and the Community
Highlights of the broad range of benefits that the 495 Express Lanes project has provided to travelers and the entire community over the past five years include:
Regional benefits during construction:
- Generated $3.5 billion in economic activity.
- $2 billion in transportation improvements.
- $548.3 million in contracts to DBE/SWaM companies.
- Replacement of $260 million in aging infrastructure.
- 16,000 jobs.
- Over the past five years, more area travelers have enjoyed the benefits of a faster, more reliable commute. The Lanes have served more than 3,500,000 customers taking more than 67,000,000 trips.
- 23 minutes is the average time savings on 495 Express Lanes during rush hour commute.2
- Travel times have improved by 8 percent on regular lanes during northbound morning rush hour.
- Eight out of 10 drivers in the D.C. region believe the Express Lanes network benefits the area.
- Five million hours of time were saved by 495 Express Lanes customers over the past five years.
- $450,000 in community grants awarded by Transurban to D.C. area organizations.
- Supported community projects such as new bike racks, elementary school environmental programs, local neighborhood enhancements, homeless shelter programs and local park cleanups.
- Nearly $80,000 donated to local fire and rescue departments through the Drive to Donate program.
- Annual support of Bike to Work Day.
- Anti-distracted driving safety programs.
- Better transit service on the Beltway.
- Employee community volunteering programs.
‘A Better Beltway’ Giveaway
As a thank-you to customers, Transurban is giving away $50 of free Express Lanes travel to each of 100 lucky customers. Customers can register for a chance to win online at ExpressLanes.com/anniversary-contest starting November 17. The contest will run until December 1. Winners will be randomly chosen on Monday, December 4, and will be notified by email within two days. The $50 of free travel will be applied toward their future 495 and 95 Express Lanes trips.
495 Express Lanes 5th Anniversary Community Grant
Transurban will be announcing a special $10,000 community grant in honor of the project’s five-year milestone and community engagement. In honor of the partnership it took to deliver the 495 Express Lanes project, two or more community organizations will need to apply together for the grant and showcase how they will work together on a specific project or initiative. Applications will be open from December 1-January 31, with winning recipient(s) notified and announced in February. Application forms will be available on ExpressLanes.com starting December 1.
Visuals: Video package, B-roll and infographic will be available at bitly.com/TUSA5th.
About the Express Lanes
The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on I-495/Capital Beltway and I-95, providing drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia. Together, the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for approximately 40 miles, from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County. Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways. For more information, please visit ExpressLanes.com.
Transurban is a pioneer of the public-private partnership (P3) managed lanes concept in the United States. Our North American business was among the pioneers of public-private partnerships for major transportation infrastructure in the Virginia region. Our Express Lanes network features industry-leading tolling and traffic management systems on more than 40 miles of managed lanes across the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. Transurban was one of the first to use a number of innovative financing and technology strategies in the development of major toll road projects.
1 Sept 2017 quarter
2 Sept 2017 quarter