Projects

About the Lanes

Project Status: Complete

NEW: To use any of the Colorado Express Lanes, you will need an ExpressToll account and pass. An ExpressToll customer service representative can help you decide which pass is best for you, based on your particular needs. For example, the Switchable HOV Transponder is the only pass that allows you to choose the HOV option and use the lanes for free, but if you typically drive alone, you can use a sticker tag or standard pass.

Remember, if you choose not to use the pass, 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.

To set up an ExpressToll account and get a pass, click here.

How do the HOV/Express Lanes Operate?
All vehicles use the same entrances to access the HOV lanes and the Express Lanes, as well as the same exits. Near 58th Avenue, the lane splits and signs designate the appropriate lane for HOVs and for toll-paying vehicles. Public transit buses may use either lane.

Carpoolers and Motorcyclists

Access to HOV lanes remains free for you.

Remain in the HOV lane when passing through the clearly marked toll collection zones, the only section in the facility where you must drive beneath the lane designated “HOV.”

If you accidentally drive through the lane designated “Toll” within a collection zone and you have a transponder or new sticker tag in your vehicle, you will still be charged, regardless of the number of people in your vehicle. For those vehicles without an EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag, cameras will photograph the front and rear license plates and a bill will be sent one month later to the registered owner of the vehicle, for all the tolls incurred during that period.  An EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag is not needed but preferred. Please note that the toll for not having and EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag is about 25% higher than the posted toll rate at the time of travel.

Apart from the toll collection zones, you may drive in any lane. However, it is important that you pay special attention to pavement markings and signage as the toll collection zone has designated lane markings in advance showing what lane you need to be in.  Motorists are reminded that you need to be in the appropriate lane in advance of the toll collection point as you may not change lanes when there is a double solid line on the roadway.

 

Solo Drivers

Remain in the lane designated "Toll" when passing through the clearly marked toll collection zones, the only section in the facility where you must drive beneath the lane designated “Toll”.  License Plate Toll was introduced on January 1, 2009 as another option to pay a toll. License Plate Toll customers are billed for their travel in the designated "Toll" lane. An EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag is not needed but preferred.  For those vehicles without an EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag, cameras will photograph the front and rear license plates and a bill will be sent one month later to the registered owner of the vehicle, for all the tolls incurred during that period.

No advance registration is required. You just enter the toll highway. You will be billed later. Payment must be received by the date specified on the bill or the transactions listed on the statement will eventually become toll violations. In that case, a toll violation citation for each toll will be sent to the vehicle’s registered owner. It’s important to note that License Plate Toll customers will be billed the EXpressToll rate plus a surcharge (generally about 25% extra but may be more)

Apart from the toll collection zones, you may drive in any lane. However, it is important that you pay special attention to pavement markings and signage as the toll collection zone has designated lane markings in advance showing what lane you need to be in. Motorists are reminded that you need to be in the appropriate lane in advance of the toll collection point as you may not change lanes when there is a double solid line on the roadway.

Express Lanes FAQ

  1. How are the I-25 HOV/Express Lanes different from other toll roads, like E-470 and Northwest Parkway?
  2. What did the project cost?
  3. How are toll revenues used?
  4. Are hybrids allowed to use the HOV/Express Lanes for free?
  5. What about lower income people who can't afford to pay to drive on the toll lanes?
  6. Why should I have to pay to use the HOV/Express Lanes?
  7. What is driving on the HOV/Express Lanes be like?
  8. What has happened to existing carpoolers and bus riders?
  9. Will I be charged if I have a transponder or new sticker tag but I also carpool or have others in my vehicle?
  10. Who is responsible for the operations of the lanes?

 

HOV/Express Lanes are different from other Colorado toll roads in two ways:

1. There are no toll booths (all tolls are collected electronically). An EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag is not needed but preferred and also saves you money as the toll rate is less expense with a transponder or new sticker tag.

2. Prices vary by time of day. Toll rates are higher in peak periods to maintain current travel times in the HOV/Express Lanes. The purpose of the higher tolls is to ensure the HOV/Express Lanes never become congested.
Top

 

Project Cost:
The total cost of the project, including two feasibility studies, technology components, construction, and a reserve for two years of maintenance and operation costs, was originally estimated to be $10,075,900. CDOT received a $2.8 million federal grant for the project. This project was a partnership with the CDOT, the City and County of Denver, and the Regional Transportation District (RTD). The project was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and was only the fifth such project to incorporate pricing as a congestion management tool in the United States.
Top

 

Revenue Generated:
Revenue generated from the tolls are used for the operations, maintenance, and enforcement of the HOV/Express Lanes facility. This includes snow removal, law enforcement, day-to-day operations, and eventual reconstruction. Toll revenue covers the maintenance costs that used to be paid by RTD saving taxpayer dollars.
Top

 

Hybrids:
State legislation allows hybrids only if federal law permits.  If federal law changes, hybrids will no longer be allowed.  Only hybrids with permits will be allowed to use the lanes and permitted hybrids will be required to obtain a transponder.  CDOT used the draft EPA guidelines to determine hybrid eligibility. For information on how to obtain a hybrid permit click here.
Top

 

Lower Income:
Studies from existing toll roads show that people of all income levels choose to drive on toll lanes. Consider a few examples of when it might be worth it for even the lowest income person to choose to pay a toll: someone who is late for work and risks losing their job or someone who needs to pick up a child from day care on time.
Top

 

Why Pay:
The Express Lanes are about choice - they only present an alternative. The lanes allow people to choose whether or not to use the lanes based on traffic flow and what they feel their time is worth. No one has to use the Express Lanes. There will always be a non-toll alternative to use - either the HOV lane if they have others traveling in their vehicle or the adjacent toll-free general purpose lanes.
Top

 

Driving:
The HOV/Express Lanes feel almost identical to the existing HOV lanes. Differences include new changeable message signs, an enforcement zone where carpoolers are separated from toll-paying vehicles, and some additional vehicles. The travel times that carpools and buses have experienced remains the same. Travel time analysis indicates that the I-25 HOV/Express Lanes provides a reliable 7.5-9.5 minute trip through the facility. The adjacent general purpose lanes can be much higher in peak periods.
Top

 

Carpoolers & Buses:
Carpoolers and buses continue to use the HOV/Express Lanes toll-free. Toll rates for vehicles using the Express Lanes are adjusted regularly to ensure that travel times remain at current free flow speeds. Travel time detection equipment has been installed to ensure highway speeds remain reliable.
Top

 

Transponders or New Sticker Tags and Carpools:
If you are carpooling or have others in your vehicle, even if you have a transponder or new sticker tag, you must pass through the toll collection enforcement area in the designated "HOV" lane in order to not get charged. If you are alone and have a transponder or new sticker tag, you will need to pass through in the designated Express Lane marked "Toll" . If you pass through the Express Lane with more than one person in your vehicle rather than staying in the designated HOV lane, your transponder or new sticker tag will be read and you'll be charged regardless of vehicle occupancy. An EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag is not needed but preferred.  For vehicles without an EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag you must pass through the toll collection enforcement area in the designated "Toll" lane, cameras will photograph the front and rear license plates and a bill will be sent one month later to the registered owner of the vehicle, for all the tolls incurred during that period. Vehicles without an EXpressToll transponder or new sticker tag will be charged a surcharge in addition to the appropriate toll rate.  Payment must be received by the date specified on the bill or the transactions listed on the statement will eventually become toll violations. In that case, a toll violation citation for each toll will be sent to the vehicle’s registered owner.
Top

 

Who is Responsible:
The HOV/Express Lanes are operated and maintained by Plenary Roads Denver.
Top

Filed under: ,
ExpressToll

www.expresstoll.com
303-537-3470
Toll Information
Create an Account
Obtain a Transponder
Pay Violations

Hybrids Badge

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal