Using the Lanes

How to Travel in Express Lanes

Anyone can use Express Lanes, there are simply different ways to travel them. A traveler can choose to travel:

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Travelers are never forced to pay a toll and can always choose to travel in the adjacent free general-purpose lanes.

Colorado Express Lanes Infographic

Understanding How to Travel in the Express Lanes (PDF)

Express Lanes are Easy to Use

For HOV3+, 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 or more people in your car, slide the tab on your transponder to the red "HOV" mode, and you can use the Express Lanes for free.

If you plan to travel with fewer than three people, paying a toll won't slow you down. You can use either a Switchable HOV Transponder or ExpressToll sticker pass. Simply switch your transponder to the green "TOLL" mode, enter the lane in the designated area, and you are on your way.

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 Lanes.

* The I-70 Mountain Express Lane and C-470 Express Lanes do not include a "free" policy.


  • Express Lanes use tolls to manage congestion and keep travel times reliable for all motorists.
  • Express Lanes use a time-of-day pricing system in which tolls change in price depending on historic levels of congestion—say, during peak morning or evening traffic. During time frames with typically high traffic volumes, the toll price goes up, helping to keep you moving in the Express Lanes.
  • Toll prices will vary based on each corridor. Visit the toll rates page to view the latest toll prices for your corridor.
  • Overhead signs will tell you exactly how much your trip will cost if you choose to use the lanes and pay a toll.

HOV-only users

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

Previously, the transponders cost $18 for all drivers, but CDOT and its Colorado Transportation Investment Office made the change to make HOV3+ travel easier for those who are dedicated to that mode of travel.

  • Drivers who use any other Colorado tolled facilities like the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, E-470 or Northwest Parkway, and C-470
  • Drivers who use their pass in toll mode on the US 36 and I-25 Central 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 maintain 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 Express Lane such as the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, will be charged the cost of the Switchable HOV Transponder.
  • HOV-Only drivers must have a driver and at least two passengers to use the Express Lanes for free.


• Motorcyclists may travel for free on CDOT’s Express Lanes on the I-25 corridor, C-470, US 36 and Central 70 (I-70 from I-25 to Chambers Road).
• Motorcyclists do not need to have an Express Toll pass or account in order to travel for free on these corridors.
• Motorcyclists can use the I-70 Mountain Express Lanes but must pay the posted toll rate. A pass and Express Toll account are recommended to avoid higher tolls.


Contact ExpressToll online or at 303-537-3470.