CDOT’S HOV Express Lanes Change From HOV 2+ to HOV 3+ in Two Weeks

December 20, 2016 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Carpoolers need three or more 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 will change from HOV 2+ to HOV 3+ on Jan. 1, 2017. HOV 3+ equals a driver and at least two passengers. The change affects the US 36 and I-25 Express Lanes, two corridors that offer free carpooling in the Express Lanes.

With the state’s population exploding and transportation funding decreasing, CDOT and HPTE must look at innovative ways to move traffic. The move to HOV 3+ helps provide uncongested travel now and in the future on the Express Lanes as well as providing funding to help offset costs of the lane including operations and maintenance.

“We want to make sure that no one is surprised in January with the change to HOV 3+ starting Jan.1,” said HPTE Director David Spector. “We are working with partners to help drivers find a third person to carpool or explore all the other choices for travel on the I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes.

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. 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