If you are new to the Twin Cities it won’t take long until you find yourself confronted with the MN pass lanes. Right now 35W and 394 are where the MN Pass lanes are but they will be expanding into 35E in another year or two. What is a MN Pass lane? It is a lane that can be used during certain hours of the day to help carpoolers and people with a MNPass transponder get around all the heavy commuting traffic. You can still take the bus or the light rail but if you need to drive the MN Pass is a good option.
If you have a minimum of 2 people in your car you can always use the MN Pass lane free of charge but if you are traveling alone you must have a transponder. You may purchase a transponder online, you then mount it in your car and you are off. Above the lane you will see what the current fee is for using the lane and your transponder will charge your account accordingly. During MN Pass hours tolls can vary from 25 cents up to $8. You keep a prepaid balance in your account that the system uses automatically. You can also check on your charges online in your account at any time.
In the off hours anyone can use the lane free of charge and if you switch vehicles you can just take your transponder with you.
It is a really slick way to get to where you are going much quicker during high traffic times and there is no stopping to pay, you just drive.
If you decide to just use the lane as one person and you get caught, fines start at $142 per violation, the same fee applies if you cross the double lines. So, get the transponder if you will be using the lane while traveling alone and save yourself a lot of time and money!
For more information or to apply for your own MN Pass, click here.