495 Express Lanes speed limit increases

The beltway in Northern Virginia is now made for a little more speed. The speed limit on the 495 Express Lanes is now 65 mph.

The speed limit remains 55 for the rest of the beltway in Northern Virginia.

Ali Ajalli travels to Fairfax from Bethesda a few times a week. Even though it costs more to drive the Express Lanes, he's willing to do it in order to go faster through lighter traffic and shorten his commute.

“Maybe it will encourage more people to use this lane than the other that is 55,” Ajalli says.

The Express Lanes opened last November in an effort to ease one of the most congested roadways in the country. But they haven't caught on and are still lightly used.

You need to pay a toll but can ride free if there are three or more people in your car.

Tolls are paid through EZ Pass but more than half of all beltway drivers don't have an EZ Pass.

Richard Gibson likes the 65 mile an hour speed limit but not the Express Lane idea.

“It's a waste of time,” he says. “It should be 65.”