Drivers who travel on I-25 and U.S. 36 Express Lanes, and plan to use the lanes for carpooling, can now get the switchable HOV passes for free.
In a release, the director of the High Performance Transportation Enterprise, or HPTE, says the free pass is one less obstacle for drivers.
Previously, transponders cost $15 for all drivers, but CDOT says the change was made to make carpooling easier for people who do it every day.
There are some requirements to get the free pass. Drivers who get the pass must drive in the HOV mode at least once in the first six months after receiving it, in order to remain an 'HOV Only Account.'
If drivers plan to use other tolled roads, such as the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, E-470 or Northwest Parkway, or if they use their pass in toll mode on the U.S. 36 and I-25 Express Lanes, they are not eligible for the free pass.
According to CDOT, 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, U.S. 36 between Denver and boulder, and on I-70 between Idaho Springs and Empire. HOV 3+ started on January 1st, 2017 on CDOT;s I-25 and U.S.36 Express Lanes.