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High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Express Lanes

CDOT, the High-Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), and its partners manage several high-occupancy vehicle and/or toll (HOV/HOT) lanes in the Denver metropolitan area and on I-70 in the mountains.  These Express Lanes permit only vehicles carrying a specified number of persons (HOV) or that pay a toll (HOT).   

Any traveler may use Express Lanes: 

  • for free with a motorcycle or if they have at least three passengers in the vehicle;
  • by riding priority buses or bus rapid transit; and 
  • by paying the toll as a solo driver. 

While the Express Lanes have the capability to charge license plate tolls at a higher rate, regular users of these lanes can register an ExpressToll account and install a switchable transponder in their vehicle – which has the ability to be switched into HOV mode when enough occupants are present – or a sticker on their motorcycle.  Free transponders are currently available for HOV-only travelers who travel in the I-25 and US 36 Express Lanes.  Please visit CDOT's website for further information on transponder fees. 

The table below provides and overview of the HOV/HOT lanes currently operational or planned for the state highway system.  Visit the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT's) website for a map of the Express Lane corridors.

Express Lanes and Toll Roads in Colorado

Corridor

Express Lanes Location

Year Opened/Opening

I-25 Corridor

   

     I-25 Central

20th Street to I-25/US 36

2006

     I-25 North

I-25/US 36 to 120th Avenue

2016

     I-25 North

120th Avenue to Northwest Parkway/E-470

2019

     I-25 North

Johnston to Fort Collins

2022

US 36

I-25/US 36 to Table Mesa Drive

2015

I-70 Mountain

Empire to Veterans Memorial Tunnels

2015

C-470

I-25 to Wadsworth Boulevard

2019

I-70 Central

I-25 to Chambers Road

2022

 
Toll Roads

Public Highway Authority

Participating Local Governments

E-470

Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties; the cities of Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, and Thornton; and the town of Parker

Northwest Parkway

Weld County, Broomfield City and County, and the city of Lafayette

Sources:  Colorado Department of Transportation, E-470, and Northwest Parkway.
 

Mountain Express Lane.  Additionally, the I-70 Mountain Express Lane is a 13-mile HOT lane on eastbound I-70.  This lane is open for up to 100 days per years when the highway experiences high traffic congestion. 

E-470.  E-470 is primarily a 75 mile-per-hour (mph), four-lane toll highway that runs about 47 miles along the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area, connecting I‑25 North to I‑25 South.  E‑470 was formed in 1985, opened its first segment in 1991, and was completed in 2003.  Toll rates range from $1.25 to $10.65 depending on distance traveled, number of axles, and whether ExpressToll or License Plate Tolling is used.

HOV3.  Express Lanes require at least three passengers (HOV3) to be eligible for HOV travel.  Visit CDOT's website for more information on HOV3.  Any person who uses a HOV lane in outside of current procedures commits a class A traffic infraction.