Free Passes Now Available for "HOV ONLY" Customers

April 5, 2017 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Passes work on US 36 and I-25 Express Lanes in HOV or carpool mode

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) today announced that switchable HOV passes are now available for free for drivers that travel on the I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes and plan to only use those passes for carpooling.

“We want to make it easier for carpoolers to travel for free in CDOT’s HOV Express Lanes, and a free pass is one less obstacle for these drivers,” said HPTE Director David Spector. “Express Lanes offer a lot of choices and offering a free switchable pass to drivers that only carpool is another way we can help provide choice with the change from HOV 2+ to HOV 3+, which went into effect in January.”  

Previously, the transponders cost $15 for all drivers, but CDOT and HPTE made the change to make carpooling easier for those who are dedicated to that mode of travel. If drivers plan to use any of the other Colorado tolled facilities like the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, E-470 or Northwest Parkway, or if they use their pass in Toll mode on the US 36 and I-25 Express Lanes, they are not eligible for the free pass.

Drivers who receive the free pass must drive in HOV mode at least once in the first six months after receiving it in order to remain an HOV Only account. If drivers do not use it within six months, use the pass in Toll mode, or on tolled facility, they will be charged the cost of the switchable HOV pass. In addition, HOV Only drivers must have a driver and at least two passengers to use the Express Lanes for free under the new HOV 3+ rule.

For questions about your account, the HOV Only account and pass or to find the pass that works best for you, contact ExpressToll at or (303) 537-3470.

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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+ started on 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