Use and Performance

MnPASS is the name of Minnesota’s system of priced managed lanes, also known as High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. MnPASS provides a more reliable, less congested travel option during peak rush-hour periods—it is only a toll lane during peak travel times. The goal is to improve the efficiency of a highway during busy commutes, not to generate revenue. MnPASS has been in operation in Minnesota since 2005.

Benefits:

  • Moves more people during busy commutes
  • Provides faster, more reliable travel times
  • Increases transit ridership and carpooling
  • Provides a more predictable trip than regular lanes

During peak weekday hours, public transit, vehicles with two or more people and motorcycles can drive in the MnPASS lane for free. Solo motorists can choose to use the lanes for a fee that varies between .25¢ and $8.00 depending on number of vehicles and speeds in the lane. The average fee in 2019 was $1.69. The lanes are free and can be used by all motorists before and after peak travel times, which is 90% of the time.

MnPASS Use

MnPASS lanes increase the number of people that are moved through a highway during peak travel times. The majority of people using the MnPASS lanes are in vehicles with two or more people (HOV 2+/carpool) or are riding a bus.

Single occupant vehicles are 29% of the total vehicles in the lane but are only 14% of the people using the lanes.

The following charts show the percentages of vehicles and people moved on the MnPASS system from 6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.

Vehicles Moved

Vehicles moved in MnPASS lanes from 6am-10am and 3pm-6pm
Car/vanpool 54%
Tolled 29%
Violators 15%
Transit buses 2%

People Moved

Vehicles moved in MnPASS lanes from 6am-10am and 3pm-6pm
Car/vanpools 55%
Transit buses 24%
Tolled 14%
Violators 7%

MnPASS Performance

MnPASS lanes provide a more reliable travel choice for all commuters. Federal laws require vehicles in the MnPASS Express Lanes travel at speeds above 45 mph for 90% of the time or greater during peak travel times. Currently, vehicles in the MnPASS lanes are traveling at speeds above 45 mph approximately 93% of the time.

MnPASS lanes provide motorists a more predictable commute. During peak hours, one MnPASS lane can carry two-three times more people than a general lane! General lanes are also prone to congestion which results in unreliable travel times.

MnPASS Express Lanes allow transit, particularly express buses, to travel faster and safer during peak travel times which provides reliable trips and increases the number of people who ride on public transportation.