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High Occupancy Vehicle/Toll Express Lanes

CDOT, the Colorado Investment Transportation Office, 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; or 
  • 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 an overview of the HOV/HOT lanes currently operational or planned for the state highway system.  Visit CDOT's website for a map of the Express Lane corridors.

Express Lanes and Toll Roads in Colorado

Express Lanes



Year Opened/Opening

I-25 Corridor


     I-25 Central

20th Street to I-25/US 36


     I-25 North

I-25/US 36 to 120th Avenue


     I-25 North

120th Avenue to Northwest Parkway/E-470


     I-25 North

Johnstown to Fort Collins


US 36

I-25/US 36 to Table Mesa Drive


I-70 Mountain

Empire to Veterans Memorial Tunnels



I-25 to Wadsworth Boulevard


I-70 Central

I-25 to Chambers Road


Toll Roads

Public Highway Authority

Participating Local Governments


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 year 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 for two-axle vehicles start at $2.60 and vary depending on distance traveled, time of day, and use of ExpressToll or License Plate Tolling.  Commercial vehicles with more than two axles incur additional charges.

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 outside of current procedures commits a class A traffic infraction. 

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