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I-77 Express Lanes FAQs

    • What are the I-77 Express Lanes and how do they work?

      The I-77 Express Lanes are dedicated travel, express lanes located between Charlotte and Mooresville that run adjacent to the existing general-purpose lanes on I-77. Motorists can decide if they want to use the optional tolled express lanes, the free general-purpose lanes or a combination of both to allow for a more efficient commute.

      For the first 180 days from the opening to traffic, the express lanes will be in “Schedule Mode.” During Schedule Mode, toll rates are based on a fixed-time-of-day schedule and are defined for every 30-minute period of every day of the week and won’t change in real-time. This allows drivers to get used to the facility, knowing the applicable rate for their trip beforehand.

      After 180 days, the express lanes will be dynamically priced, meaning that the price will fluctuate based on supply and demand to ensure a predictable, higher-speed commute and allow traffic to flow at a minimum of 45 mph during peak travel times. Roadside equipment will monitor traffic conditions in real-time to adjust the prices periodically throughout the day based upon the average speed and number of drivers who want to use the express lanes. Prices may go up or down, depending upon the amount of traffic and the time of day, but drivers are notified of the price they will pay on the toll pricing signs prior to entering any segment of the express lanes. Prices will be lower during non-peak driving times.

    • Which section of the I-77 Express Lanes are open?

      The northern section of the express lanes – from just north of Hambright Road to Exit 36 in Mooresville – opened in spring 2019. The entire 26 miles is currently slated to open later in 2019.

    • Will I have to pay a toll to drive on I-77?

      No. You can choose to pay tolls to drive on the express lanes, drive at no cost on the existing, general purpose lanes, or see below options for toll-free travel in the express lanes.

    • How is my bill determined after I take a trip on the express lanes?

      Your total cost is the combined price of each toll segment you drive in one trip. For instance, if you enter the first segment with a posted NC Quick Pass rate of 40 cents and continue in the express lanes to the second segment, third and fourth, each with a posted NC Quick Pass rate of 40 cents, your total cost will be $1.60. Remember, posted tolls are the NC Quick Pass rate, which is 35% less than the Bill by Mail rate. If you do not have an NC Quick Pass transponder account, the toll rates will be higher. ​

    • How do I travel for free in the I-77 Express Lanes?

      There are several options to travel for free in the I-77 Express Lanes. All options require using an NC Quick Pass transponder or E-ZPass issued Flex transponder, except for motorcycles which do not require a transponder. Other than motorcycles, all account holders (Personal, Business and HOV accounts) must set HOV status to travel toll-free in the express lanes.

      High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) – Class 1 (two-axle) vehicles with three or more people in the vehicle can use the I-77 Express Lanes toll-free when the user has set HOV status. Users have two options to set HOV status:

      1. NC Quick Pass E-ZPass Flex transponder (or E-ZPass issued Flex transponder) – slide the switch all the way to the right to display “HOV ON” to set HOV status before traveling in the express lanes. The transponder will beep once to confirm the status is set.

      2. ANY NC Quick Pass transponder + HOV App or website – register your NC Quick Pass transponder with the HOV App or website. Once registered, users must set HOV status in the app or website at least 15 minutes before traveling in the I-77 Express Lanes to qualify for toll-free travel.
      Registered transit vehicles: transit vehicles with an NC Quick Pass Transit account and properly mounted NC Quick Pass transponder can use the I-77 Express Lanes toll-free.

      Motorcycles: motorcycles can automatically use the I-77 Express Lanes toll-free, a transponder is not required.​

    • Are there dedicated HOV lanes?

      No. The former HOV lanes were converted into the tolled express lanes. However, drivers with three or more people in the vehicle can use the express lanes toll-free if they have set HOV status at least 15 minutes prior to entering the express lanes.​

    • How do I pay to use the express lanes, and when will I get charged for a toll?

      NC Quick Pass is the N.C. Turnpike Authority’s all-electronic toll collection program that offers drivers two ways to pay for tolls: a pre-paid transponder account or the post-paid Bill by Mail program.

      For transponder (NC Quick Pass, E-ZPass, SunPass and Peach Pass) account holders, toll charges are deducted from the account’s prepaid balance in real-time.

      For customers without a transponder, cameras will capture the vehicle’s license plate as the driver enters each tolling segment, and toll charges will be invoiced and mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner roughly 30 days after travel through the Bill by Mail program.

    • What toll rate applies if the rate changes while in any particular segment?

      The rate that is displayed on the pricing sign as you enter the express lanes or a new toll segment is the rate charged, regardless of whether the rate changes while you are driving within a toll segment.

      Each toll rate sign displays the current pricing for a specific segment in advance of the entrance point for that particular segment. The rate displayed is the NC Quick Pass rate, the Bill by Mail rate is higher.

    • What types of vehicles can use the I-77 Express Lanes?

      The express lanes are open to all types of vehicles with two axles. This includes passenger vehicles, SUVs, motorcycles, pickup trucks and vans. Vehicles with three axles or more, such as large trucks and tractors with trailers, may not use the express lanes.

    • How do I access the I-77 Express Lanes?

      Dedicated entry points and signage will guide you directly into the express lanes from the general purpose lanes or future direct connectors. ​The merge lanes and ramps are designed with safety in mind, providing plenty of room for drivers to enter and exit the express lanes using at least six designated points.

    • What are direct connector ramps and where are they located?

      Direct connector ramps will provide direct access to the express lanes from existing roads. One direct connector ramp will be able to be accessed from Hambright Road, located between exits 19 and 23. The other direct connector ramp will be located on Lakeview Road, between exits 16 and 18.

    • Will there be roadside assistance for the I-77 Express Lanes?

      Yes. Call 1-855-477-2018 for complimentary roadside assistance such as changing a flat tire, jumping a dead battery or reporting a road hazard on the general-purpose lanes, tolled express lanes or bridges. If you require assistance, if possible, safely maneuver your vehicle out of the moving traffic and onto the shoulder. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and phone I-77 Express’ complimentary roadside assistance.

      If you are in a traffic accident, please contact 911.

    • How do I know that the rates on my bill are the same as those posted?

      The toll rate you see on the overhead sign before getting into the express lanes is the toll rate you will be charged. Historical toll rates will be added to the ‘Check Past Rates’ page (coming soon) on the I-77 Express website, and will be available upon request, to allow drivers to validate the date and time in which they drove the express lanes and the price charged.

Extended Vehicles FAQs

2/5/2021 8:16 AM

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