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, where there is free HOV/carpooling allowed.
  • For free as a carpooler, which means a driver with two or more passengers.
    • You must call ExpressToll at 303-537-3470 to get a pass (free if you only plan to use it to carpool on I-25 and US 36).
  • By transit on either priority buses or Bus Rapid Transit.
  • By paying a toll as a solo driver, or a driver and one passenger.

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 two or more 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.

* The I-70 Mountain Express Lane does 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.

HOV-Only Users

Switchable HOV passes are now available for free to drivers who travel on the I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes, and plan to only use those passes for carpooling!

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.

Ineligible use:

  • Drivers who use any of the other Colorado-tolled facilities—like the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, E-470 or Northwest Parkway, and on C-470 in the future
  • Drivers who use their pass in toll mode on the US 36 and I-25 Express Lanes


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

Contact ExpressToll online or at 303-537-3470.


Overhead signs will tell you exactly how much your trip will cost if you choose to use the lanes and pay a toll.

Safety Tips

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.

Get a transponder.

Filed under:
Colorado: The Official State Web Portal