Minnesota Department of Transportation

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July 15, 2021

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MnPASS becomes E-ZPass Aug. 2, new express lanes opening soon on I-35W in north metro

ST. PAUL, Minn. – MnPASS will become E-ZPass on Aug. 2, connecting Minnesota’s express lane system to 19 states in the Midwest and the East Coast and allowing customers to use the same pass in all states, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

E-ZPass Minnesota will operate the same as MnPASS, giving travelers a more reliable option during busy commuting hours on Interstate 35W south, I-35E and I-394. In addition, motorists will have a fourth express lane route available on I-35W between Roseville and Blaine in the north Twin Cities metro when construction is completed soon.

“The interoperability of E-ZPass Minnesota adds even more value and convenience for travelers,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, MnDOT Commissioner. “As Minnesota’s traffic volumes continue to return to pre-pandemic levels, E-ZPass lanes create more options for Minnesotans get around safely, reliably and efficiently.”

During peak weekday hours (6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. Monday – Friday), E-ZPass will remain free for buses, motorcycles and vehicles with two or more people. Solo drivers pay a fee to use the E-ZPass lane during peak periods. Outside of these hours, the E-ZPass lane operates like a general lane and is free to all motorists—which is 90 percent of the time.

Enroll in E-ZPass Minnesota at ezpassmn.org beginning Monday, Aug. 2. Current MnPASS tags will continue to work on Minnesota roads. Existing customers who want a new E-ZPass tag for use in other states can switch to the new tag in August.

Along with the new express lanes, the I-35W North MnPASS construction project will also provide the north metro area with improved travel between Roseville and Lino Lakes, and updated roads, bridges and utilities.

“This project has been a great example of what we can achieve when we work together,” said Sheila Kauppi, MnDOT Metro Deputy District Engineer. “We are grateful to our local community partners, cities and contractors for their collaboration, the hundreds of workers who made this project a reality, and to the residents of the north metro for their patience.” 

E-ZPass Minnesota facts

  • E-ZPass helps to manage traffic and reduce travel times during peak hours on some of the busiest roads in Minnesota by providing a dedicated lane that is free for HOV and requires a fee for single occupant vehicles.
  • E-ZPass moves more people during busy commutes. A single E-ZPass lane can move twice as many people as a regular lane during peak hours—80 percent using E-ZPass are riding on buses or carpooling.
  • Fees increase as traffic in the E-ZPass lane increases to keep traffic moving at 50 to 55 miles per hour in the E-ZPass lane.
  • Fees range between $0.25 and $8.00. The heavier the traffic in the E-ZPass lane, the higher the price.
  • E-ZPass Minnesota will have one switchable tag and it will be free. Tag switches between “single occupant” and “HOV.”
  • The rules for using E-ZPass vary depending on when you travel, and in which city or state.