CDOT’s HOV Express Lanes Change From HOV 2+ To HOV 3+ on Jan. 1, 2017 (CDOT)

CDOT’s HOV Express Lanes Change From HOV 2+ To HOV 3+ on Jan. 1, 2017 (CDOT)

hov3-alertIn January, the way that travelers use the existing HOV lanes on I-25 will change.  Until the end of the year, the lanes can be used as “HOV-2” (aka, two people per vehicle) for free (as long as you have a switchable transponder).  On January 1, in order to use the HOV lanes for free, a vehicle will need to carry three people per vehicle.  Below is an article from CDOT about the change.




The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Express Lanes are changing from HOV 2+ to HOV 3+ on Jan. 1, 2017. HOV 3+ equals a driver and at least two passengers. The change affects US 36 and I-25, two corridors with HOV Express Lanes in operation and/or development.

With the state’s population exploding and transportation funding decreasing, CDOT and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) must look at innovative ways to move traffic. The move to HOV 3+ helps provide uncongested travel in the Express Lanes as well as provide funding to help offset costs of the lane including operations and maintenance. Drivers always have the option to travel for free in the general purpose lanes.

CDOT and HPTE know the transition will be challenging and want to ensure drivers are not surprised by the HOV 3+ change in 2017. They are working with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), the Regional Transportation District (RTD), Smart Commute Metro North and 36 Commuting Solutions and others to help people find and use additional ways to carpool or take other modes of transportation.

In addition, if drivers plan to carpool only (we call these drivers “HOV purists”), they will be able to receive the $15 switchable HOV transponder for free in spring 2017 as another way to help ease the transition. HOV purists who have already purchased the Switchable HOV Transponders will be reimbursed if they call ExpressToll to cancel their account.

Learn more at the CDOT Express Lane website and sign up for email alerts to stay informed.

 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. For more information, visit

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