Want to know what it’ll cost you to take an I-25 North express lane? There are at least ten possible answers to that. We made a chart.
Should I care?
If you regularly drive on some portion of Interstate 25 between US 36 and 120th Avenue, then yes, care.
Theoretically, all drivers win.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has projected that express lane drivers could cut their commute times by 20 minutes. So far, CDOT’s Megan Castle is getting feedback that drivers using the lanes have shortened their commutes by 10 or 15 minutes.
But drivers who don’t use the lanes should experience less congestion. CDOT has projected that they could shave off four minutes.
If you plan on using any of CDOT’s express lanes, like this one or the U.S. 36 lanes, it’s cheaper to once you buy a transponder. Right now, that costs $15. Castle says that at least 100,000 people have bought one since the last year or so.
You’ll also need an ExpressToll account. If you’ve driven the U.S. 36 express lanes, E-470 or the Northwest Parkway, you may already have started one. Otherwise, that costs $20 to start if you bundle it with the transponder.
If you have a motorcycle and get a transponder, it’s free to use these lanes.
If you’re a dedicated carpooler, then it’s also free to use the lanes if you have a transponder, which has an HOV setting. For now, that can mean just you and a passenger. Once 2017 rolls around, a high-occupancy vehicle will be considered a driver and two passengers.
And for drivers who really and truly only carpool, CDOT is working on a solution that won’t force them to buy a $15 transponder.