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U.S. 36 express lanes will speed traffic, but come with new tolls

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DENVER — Soon a new third lane on U.S. 36 will charge you to use it.

Starting in July, brand new express lanes will be available on U.S. 36 between Denver and 88th Avenue. Drivers who want to use the lanes will have to pay a toll. The prices will be dynamic, meaning they will change depending on the time and the day.

  • Morning Low Peak (6:45-7:15): $5.80
  • Morning High Peak (7:15-8:15): $7.60
  • Mid-day (10:00-3:00): $1.25
  • Afternoon Low Peak (3:30-4:30): $2.45
  • Afternoon High Peak (4:30-6:00) $2.60
  • Weekends (Sat/Sun): $1.25

Drivers can buy Express Toll passes. Otherwise, tolls will be charged using your license plate and you will get a bill in the mail. Additional fees will be tacked on to the toll rates if drivers choose the license plate option, raising the total price to between $5 and $13.68 for a one-way trip.

  • Morning Low Peak (6:45-7:15): $11.65
  • Morning High Peak (7:15-8:15): $13.68
  • Mid-day (10:00-3:00): $5.00
  • Afternoon Low Peak (3:30-4:30): $6.20
  • Afternoon High Peak (4:30-6:00) $6.35
  • Weekends (Sat/Sun): $5.00

Switchable transponders

Switchable transponder

CDOT switchable transponder

HOV drivers never have to pay toll fees in express lanes, as long as there are at least three people in the car.

To ride for free, however, drivers must have switchable transponders in their car. When the transponder is switched into “HOV” mode, the tolling device will not charge the car. HOV drivers using the express lanes without a pass will be charged for the toll, including the extra fees for using the license plate option.

CDOT produced the video below to help people see how to use the new express lanes and switchable transponders.

It's worth noting that improper use of express lanes can result in fines of up to $250.