Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

MnPASS System Study- Phase 3

Twin Cities Metro Area


MnPASS is Minnesota’s system of priced managed lanes which are often referred to as High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Priced managed lanes provide a congestion-free travel option during peak-travel times by pricing specific lanes at rates that maintain free flow conditions for all commuters.The lanes are free and can be used by all motorists before and after peak-travel times.

MnPASS is a strategy for managing and reducing congestion on some of Minnesota's busiest highways.It is not a strategy to generate revenue.The MnPASS transportation system:

  • Increases the number of people that are moved through a corridor during peak-travel times
  • Provides a reliable, congestion-free travel choice for commuters
  • Improves public transit service and ridership
  • Increases car and van pools

Other benefits of MnPASS

  • The MnPASS lanes are always free for public transit, motorcycles and vehicles with two or more occupants, including children and infants
  • During off-peak travel times, all motorists are able drive in the MnPASS lanes for free (approx. 85% of the time)
  • Solo motorists, who travel during peak-travel times, can choose to pay a fee and drive in the MnPASS lane or drive in the general purpose lanes

To learn more about MnPASS, visit: www.mnpass.org

Previous Studies

Initial MnPASS System Study

The first MnPASS System Study was completed in 2005. This study demonstrated that MnPASS lanes could provide many benefits to the region’s highway and transit systems. However, the cost to build a MnPASS system using traditional construction approaches would be a challenge.

MnPASS System Study Phase 2

Completed in 2010, this study evaluated a potential MnPASS system that could be constructed at a lower cost while still providing significant benefits. The study analyzed the number of people that could travel through a highway corridor, travel-time savings and reliability, vehicle speed, change in congested vehicle miles traveled, transit demand and benefit/cost analysis. The result was a tiered list of priority MnPASS expansion corridors, which was adopted into the Met Council's 2040 Transportation Policy Plan as the vision for the development of the MnPASS system.

Since the completion of the MnPASS System Study Phase 2, the MnPASS Transportation System has evolved and developed. As a result, there is a need to conduct a MnPASS System Study Phase 3, and the 2040 TPP Work Program lists this study as a priority.