DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation might tighten the rules for who can use the express lanes on Interstate 25 without paying a toll.

Right now two people qualify as a carpool, but that number may rise to three in the coming years.

HOV lanes along I-25 provide a clearer shot into and out of town for drivers hoping to avoid stop-and-go traffic. They also make it possible for the Regional Transportation District to run express buses with decent drive times, luring traffic-weary drivers into buses.

As the lanes get congested and speeds drop, toll drivers and RTD aren’t getting the clear drive they paid for. CDOT has already raised the toll for single occupancy drivers and may do it again, but they say that may not be enough. If they can’t get the congestion under control, they will need to expedite a shift to an HOV-three model.  That means commuters will need three passengers to ride for free. That is already the plan along the new managed lanes of U.S. 36 and for the managed lanes on I-25, but that wasn’t supposed to go in place until 2017.

CDOT says that could be coming sooner if they can’t get the congestion under control.


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