General News

Carpoolers can drive for free and park for free

If you are a carpooler, you can drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-drive times for free every day and now ABC Ramps, MnPASS and Move Minneapolis have joined forces to offer carpoolers a chance to park in Ramp A for free every Wed. In October.

It’s Easy

Two or more occupants (including children and infants) in a vehicle allow free use of the MnPASS lanes on I-94, I-394 and I-35W. When motorists are at Ramp A they  should enter through a marked carpool lane any Wednesday in October between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and park for free. Parking ramp attendants will distribute free parking passes upon entry.
Ramp A is located at 101 N 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403

4-year reconstruction project impacts the MnPASS lanes on I-35W

August marked the beginning of a four-year road construction project on I-35W that will affect motorists using the MnPASS lanes on I-35W between downtown Minneapolis and Hwy 62.

The MnPASS lanes in the northbound direction will remain open throughout the project but motorists should expect some sections of the lane to be temporarily closed and should expect to see higher commute prices due to higher congestion levels. Motorists who travel I-35W should sign up to receive construction updates, check www.511mn.org before traveling and follow MnDOT on Twitter and Facebook.

I-35W between 43rd St. and 15th St. was constructed in 1967. MnDOT made routine repairs to the pavement in 1985 and in 1995. In 2009 the priced dynamic lanes were developed to improve the flow of traffic and to relieve congestion in the corridor. The $240 million project includes:

  • Converting NB I-35W Priced Dynamic Shoulder Lane between 46th St. and 26th St. to a permanent MnPASS Lane
  • Constructing a new MnPASS lane on SB I-35W from 26th St. to 46th St.
  • Constructing Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Station at Lake St.
  • Improving access from I-35W to the Lake Street Business District by constructing two new exit ramps (NB I-35W to 28th St. and SB I-35W to Lake St.)
  • Upgrading accessibility by improving pedestrian accommodations with pedestrian curb ramps and sidewalk upgrades
  • Rehabilitating pavement and bridges on I-35W from 46th St. to 11th Ave, Hwy 65 from 26th St. to 15th St, and I-94 from Nicollet Ave. to Park Ave.
  • Constructing new and rehabilitating existing noise barriers throughout the project limits

The construction will occur in stages between 2017 and 2021. The project will:

  • Improve the life, safety and sustainability of the road with new pavement
  • Provide additional access to the region from northbound I-35W to 28th St. and southbound I-35W to Lake St.
  • Provide motorists a congestion-free travel option into and out of downtown Minneapolis by converting the northbound I-35W priced dynamic shoulder lane between 43rd and 26th streets to a MnPASS Express Lane and establishing a MnPASS Express Lane on southbound I-35W between 43rd and 26th Streets
  • A transit station on I-35W located at Lake St. will be a primary hub for the Orange Line and provide a safe and efficient transit connection
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycle access and travel options on local streets

To learn more about this project and ciew current traffic impacts, visit www.mndot.gov/35w94.

MnPASS customers must display a MnPASS tag

Approximately 12,000 MnPASS customers have not returned their Telematics Transponder and risk getting a citation if seen using a transponder to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-drive times.

As of June 30, all MnPASS customers who have an up-to-date account have received a new MnPASS tag and have been asked to return their discontinued MnPASS transponder. Motorists using a telematics transponder are responsible for paying the tolls associated with the Telematics Transponder until the transponder is returned. MnPASS customers should return their Telematics Transponder(s) at a drop-off location as soon as possible. If the transponder has been lost or if motorists have not received a new MnPASS tag, they should call the MnPASS Customer Service Center at 1-866-397-4334 and speak with a representative.

Telematics Transponders were discontinued on June 30, 2017. Motorists using a Telematics Transponder to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-drive times risk getting a citation from a Minnesota State Patrol. If a state trooper sees a motorist using a Telematics Transponder to drive in the lane during peak-drive times, the transponder will be confiscated and the motorist may receive a citation up to $200.

MnPASS customers must use a new MnPASS tag after June 30, 2017 to drive in the MnPASS lanes

MnPASS Telematics Transponders discontinued
On June 30, 2017 the 2.5 X 3.5, rectangle MnPASS Telematics Transponders will be discontinued. After June 30, solo motorists must have a MnPASS Switchable or Sticker Tag attached to their vehicle windshield to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-drive times. MnPASS customers who do not have a new MnPASS tag, should call the MnPASS Customer Service Center at 1-866-397-4334 and speak with a representative.

Avoid getting a ticket

Motorists using a Telematics Transponder to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-drive times after June 30, 2017 risk getting a citation from a Minnesota State Patrol. If a state trooper sees a motorist using a Telematics Transponder to drive in the lane during peak-drive times, the transponder will be confiscated and the motorist may receive a citation. MnPASS customers are responsible for paying the fines and the tolls associated with the Telematics Transponder.

Recycling your Telematics Transponder
Telematics Transponder(s) should be brought to a designated drop-off site to be properly recycled. Telematics Transponders contain a lithium battery that have specific recycling requirements.

MnPASS customers can use a MnPASS tag to park at MSP Airport

A new partnership between MnDOT and the Metropolitan Airports Commission allows motorists to use one device to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-travel times and to lift the gate arms at some Minneapolis St. Paul Airport (MSP) parking facilities.

Motorists can use a MnPASS tag - sticker tag or switchable tag - to drive in the MnPASS lanes and to enter and exit parking facilities at MSP. Motorists cannot use a ZipPass tag to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-travel times. A ZipPass is a device that is used to activate the entry arms in the eParkElite facilities. It is placed on the vehicle’s dashboard. When motorists pull into an entry lane it communicates with an overhead receiver, which then activates the entry arm.

Participating MSP parking facilities include:

  • Terminal  - Lindbergh — General and Short-Term
  • Terminal 2 - Humphrey — General and Short-Term
  • Terminal 1 - Quick Ride Ramp

The MnPASS and ZipPass accounts are separate accounts and fees cannot be combined. Motorists must have a MnPASS account, a MnPASS tag and a ZipPass account to take advantage of the partnership.

If motorists drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-travel times without a MnPASS tag, they are subject to a citation and fine up to $200.

MnPASS customers can create a ZipPass account on the MnPASS partnership web page.

MnPASS customers must have a new MnPASS tag by June 30, 2017

MnPASS is replacing all of the Telematics Transponders with a free, new MnPASS Switchable Tag. The Telematics Transponders will be replaced in phases to ensure the new tags are distributed efficiently.

Between August 2016 and June 30, 2017 current MnPASS customers who have a MnPASS Telematics Transponder will receive an email informing them that they will receive a new MnPASS switchable tag in the mail. Customers should continue to use the Telematics Transponder until they receive a new MnPASS Switchable Tag.

Telematics Transponders Discontinued

On June 30, 2017, the Telematics Transponders will be discontinued. MnPASS account holders using a Telematics Transponder to drive in the MnPASS lanes during peak-travel times after June 30, 2017 are responsible for paying the tolls associated with the transponder, and for all citations and fines associated with using it.  

Recycle your Telematics Transponder
When you receive your new MnPASS switchable tag(s), return the Telematics Transponder(s) to a MnPASS drop-off site so it can be properly recycled. The Telematics Transponders contain a lithium battery that has specific recycling requirements. Telematics Transponders can be returned to:

MnPass Customer Service Center
2055 Lilac Drive N. 
Golden Valley, MN
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m

MnDOT Metro District Water's Edge Building
1500 W County Road B2
Roseville, MN
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Move Minneapolis
505 Nicollet Mall, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN
Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m

Hennepin County Recycling Center and Transfer Station
Transponder drop off only
8100 Jefferson Highway
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center
Transponder drop off only
1400 West 96th Street
Bloomington, MN 55431

If you have questions about the new MnPASS Switchable Tag or about your MnPASS account, call 1-866-397-4334, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Protecting the integrity and safety of the MnPASS lanes

MnDOT has a two-year contract with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Patrol Office that dedicates six state patrol officers to enforce the MnPASS Express Lanes during peak-travel times.  

The state troopers will monitor the MnPASS Express Lanes on I-35E, I-394 and on I-35W during the morning and afternoon peak-travel times. Motorists should expect to see at least one trooper in each MnPASS lane during the morning and evening commute times.

The troopers will primarily enforce the MnPASS lane but they will not ignore other violations such as expired license tabs, speeding or erratic driving.

Learn more about the enforcement of MnPASS lanes

Can I use my MnPASS tag on toll roads in other states?

Not yet. MnDOT/MnPASS is planning to become interoperable with other state electronic toll systems, but not until the national tolling industry and the federal government determine interoperability standards and requirements.

Because there’s very little demand from other state tolling systems to use our peak-period system, becoming interoperable will cost us a significant amount of money and we’ll get very little additional toll revenue in return. As a result, we need to identify lower cost options for becoming interoperable and knowing what the new national standards and requirements are going to be, would put us in a better position to identify those lower cost options.

MnDOT is making sure current and future MnPASS investments are interoperable-ready. For example, MnDOT is installing toll reading equipment that will enable the department to read essentially any electronic toll device in a vehicle (E-ZPASS, TxTag). It’s also ensuring that the new MnPASS operating system is configured to add interoperability.