Free transponders available for HOV carpool drivers

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation is giving away free transponders for carpool drivers who use the Interstate 25 and U.S. 36 Express Lanes.

The transponders usually cost $15, but CDOT and High Performance Transportation Enterprise made the change to make carpooling easier.

The transponders can be moved to different vehicles, but the program comes with some rules.

If drivers plan to use any of the other Colorado tolled roads such as the Interstate 70 Mountain Express Lane, E-470 or the Northwest Parkway, or if they use their transponder in toll mode on the U.S. 36 and I-25 Express Lanes, they are not eligible for the free transponder.

CDOT said drivers who get the free transponder must drive in HOV mode at least once in the first six months after receiving it in order to remain an HOV-only account.

If drivers do not use it within six months, they will be charged the cost of the switchable HOV transponder.

In addition, HOV-only drivers must have a driver and at least two passengers to use the Express Lanes for free.

For questions or to determine which pass works bess, contact ExpressToll at expresstoll.com or 303-537-3470.