Special to Iredell Free News
As part of a pilot program between NCDOT and I-77 Mobility Partners, all medium-size trucks (two-axle) or vehicles with a one-axle trailer can travel in the Interstate 77 Express Lanes beginning February 8.
This agreement will allow additional vehicles, such as delivery trucks, small business trucks and work trailers, the option of choosing a more reliable travel time by using the express lanes.
This modification to the I-77 Express Lanes is a result of the community and the local advisory group formed by Gov. Roy Cooper working with NCDOT to expand access to the express lanes at no cost to NCDOT or local governments.
Currently, vehicles longer than 20 feet are not permitted in the express lanes. This program removes the length limit and instead limits the vehicle types to those with two axles or two-axle vehicles with a one-axle trailer. Vehicles with a length greater than 22 feet will be subject to a toll rate multiplier to compensate for the additional space required by the longer vehicles and allow I-77 Mobility Partners to continue to manage traffic speed and driver expectations in the express lanes.
The multiplier for extended vehicles could vary by section and by time of the day, just like the regular toll rates for the express lanes. The toll rate multiplier schedule will be published online and updated as needed by I-77 Mobility Partners at I77express.com.
Customers will continue to use their NC Quick Pass transponder or receive a bill in the mail to pay for tolls. NC Quick Pass is the North Carolina Turnpike Authority’s toll-collection program for the Monroe Expressway and Triangle Expressway. The N.C. Department of Transportation’s contract with I-77 Mobility Partners designates the Turnpike Authority to provide NC Quick Pass account management, billing and customer service for the I-77 Express Lanes.
With an NC Quick Pass transponder, drivers save up to 35 percent on tolls in North Carolina, which are automatically deducted from a prepaid balance. To sign up for a transponder account visit ncquickpass.com.
Drivers who sign up for an NC Quick Pass account can also set High Occupancy Vehicle HOV status and travel in the I-77 express lanes for free when there are at least three or more people in the vehicle, including the driver. The existing general purpose lanes will always be a free travel option for all drivers who do not want to use the express lanes.
For more information about NC Quick Pass account, transponder options or how to travel in the express lanes for free, customers can visit ncquickpass.com.