Using the Lanes
Who can Use Express Lanes?
Anyone can use Express Lanes, there are simply different ways to travel them. A traveler can choose to travel:
- For free with a motorcycle.—No pass is required on US 36 and I-25 to use the Express Lanes for free.
- For free as a carpooler with either one or two passengers.
(All HOV Express Lanes now require two passengers along with the driver).*
You must still set up an ExpressToll account and get a pass, but you won’t be charged a toll for using the Express Lane. In spring 2017, you will not be charged for a pass if you only use the lanes to carpool.
- By transit on either priority buses or Bus Rapid Transit.
- By paying a toll as a solo driver, or a driver and one passenger (effective Jan. 1, 2017).
Travelers are never forced to pay a toll and can always choose to travel in the adjacent free general purpose lanes.
The Express Lanes are easy to use for anyone. For carpoolers, go online to order your Switchable HOV Transponder and find two friends, family members or coworkers to join you on your trip. Once you have three people in your car, slide the tab on your transponder to show the red bar, and you can use the Express Lanes for free.
If you plan to travel with fewer than three people, paying your toll won't slow you down either. You can use either a Switchable HOV Transponder or your current Express Toll Transponder. Simply switch your transponder to the green "TOLL," enter the lane in the designated area, and you are on your way without stopping at a toll booth!
If you choose not to use the transponder, you will be billed through a License Plate Toll. A bill will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle and you will pay a higher toll rate based on how far you travel in the Express Lane.
* Express Lanes on I-70 West in the mountains will not include a "free" policy for HOV vehicles given that a majority of vehicles traveling in the corridor typically have more than one passenger.
Express Lanes use tolls to manage congestion and keep travel times reliable for all motorists.
Express Lanes will use a dynamic pricing system in which tolls can change in price depending on the level of congestion – say, during peak morning or evening traffic. As traffic increases, the toll price goes up, helping to keep you moving on the Express Lanes.
Toll prices will vary based on each roadway. Visit the Corridors page to view toll prices for your highway.
Overhead signs will tell you exactly how much your trip will cost if you choose to use the lanes and pay a toll.
While it might be tempting to use the Switchable HOV Transponder to avoid paying tolls, it is important to remember there will be enforcement on the roadway. Our local law enforcement officers will be out on the corridors and violations could cost up to $250.