CDOT’S HOV Express Lanes Change From HOV 2+ to HOV 3+ in One Week

December 27, 2016 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Carpoolers need three or more people to ride for free starting Jan. 1  

DENVER - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) want to remind drivers that CDOT’s  

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Express Lanes on US 36 and I-25 will change from HOV 2+ to HOV 3+ on Jan. 1, 2017.  HOV 3+ equals a driver and at least two passengers.

Colorado has passed the point where it can build its way out of congestion. With the state's population exploding and transportation funding decreasing, we must look at innovative ways to move traffic across the state. HOV 3 ensures that those lanes remain free-flowing now and in the future, so that those who choose to ride the bus, pay a toll, or carpool always have a reliable and faster trip. Also, this change helps provide funding to offset the costs of adding transportation infrastructure and ongoing operations and maintenance.

CDOT and HPTE are working with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), the Regional Transportation District (RTD), Smart Commute Metro North, 36 Commuting Solutions, North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO), Lyft, Uber and others to help people find and use additional ways to carpool or take other modes of transportation. To explore different options, visit the HOV 3 solutions page here. Drivers also always have the option of driving in the free general purpose lanes.

In addition, if drivers plan to carpool only (HOV purists), they will be able to receive the $15 switchable HOV transponder for free in spring 2017 as another way to help ease the transition.

Learn more at

About Express Lanes: Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help to manage congestion on the highways. The use of toll pricing during peak travel times reduces delays, manages congestion and maintains reliable travel times. Express Lanes are currently open on I-25 between downtown Denver and 120th Avenue, US 36 between Denver and Boulder, and on I-70 between Idaho Springs and Empire. HOV 3+ will be in effect Jan. 1, 2017 on CDOT’s I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes.

About CDOT:

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE): The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It searches out innovative ways to finance projects to help Colorado fulfill its commitment to increase travel choices through options that include Express Lanes, transit, biking, walking and carpooling. For more information, visit