7 things you need to know about new US 36 Express Lanes toll lanes, HOV usage

New tolls will start on U.S. 36 Wednesday -- here are seven things you need to know.

1. Tolls are being collected in the new Express Lanes between Interlocken Loop and Federal Boulevard.

2. The fees vary, depending on the time of day, from $1.25 to $6.70, each way.

3. There are two different fees for using the toll lanes. If you have a pre-paid transponder, you will pay a discounted rate. If you don't have a transponder, and you use the toll lane, officials will scan your license plate and send a bill to the registered owner of the vehicle.

4. Using the toll lane is optional. There are still two free lanes in each direction, in addition to the single toll lane in each direction.

5.. US 36 between Denver and Boulder was a toll road when it opened in 1951. The toll road bonds were paid off early and the tolling infrastructure was removed in 1968. Those original lanes are still free. The new toll is only being paid by drivers who use the new lane.

6. If you want to carpool, and not pay the toll, you will need a NEW switchable transponder that you switch from "HOV" to "TOLL" depending on if you are carpooling or not. If you don't have the switchable transponder, you will be charged the appropriate toll, even if you have multiple people in your vehicle.

7. This is phase one of the U.S. 36 Express Lanes Project. Phase 2, from 88th Street to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, will open in 2016.

Learn more on the U.S. 36 Express Lanes website.

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