The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

SR 167 HOT Lanes follow this successful Minneapolis Model


I-394 MnPASS Express Lanes between downtown Minneapolis and the western suburbs.

MnPASS is fully electronic - no tollbooths, no slowing down or stopping to drop coins.

How to open an account:


MnPASS is designed for solo drivers to be able to use the HOV lane by paying an electronic toll. Its purpose is to maintain traffic flow and alleviate congestion. If you drive alone and want a more convenient and predictable trip, open a MnPASS account and start using the MnPASS Express Lanes.

Carpoolers still ride Free

Transit buses, carpools and motorcycles can use the MnPASS Express Lanes for free. MnPASS users can use the lanes during the designated hours.


Small, two-axle trucks weighing less than 26,000 pounds will also be able to use the lanes by opening a MnPASS account.

Flexible - just like you are

View from the driver's seat.

* When traffic or time is against you - choose to use MnPASS

* When driving with a friend - use the lanes for free.

* Driving another car - take your MnPASS transponder with you.

* Solo drivers must have a properly mounted MnPASS transponder and a valid MnPass account.

* Drivers may not cross the double white lines and must access the MnPASS lane at the entry/exit points in the corridor.

Easy as 1-2-3:

1. Open a MnPASS account

* Tolls are pre-paid and deducted from your balance

* Funds transfer automatically from your charge account

* statements are available on-line

2. Get a Transponder

The transponder is a small battery-powered radio toll collection device.

* Mounts easily to your windshield

* Take it with you when driving another car

* Remove it from the clip when riding with a friend and pay no toll

3. Choose how much to spend

Fees are based on traffic levels in the express lanes to ensure traffic flows 50-55 miles per hour. Tolls also depend on where you enter and exit and the length of your trip.

* Tolls average $1 - $4 during rush hours (maximum of $8)

* Fees are posted on overhead signs at entrances

* There is a monthly fee of $1.50 for each MnPASS transponder being leased.

* Cancel anytime - your account balance will be refunded

Since MnPASS opened in 2005, we've been continuously monitoring the project and have conducted several evaluations. Some of the things that stand out include:

* Traffic in the MnPASS lane is maintained at the speed limit 95 percent of the time.

* We are making better use of the express lanes which has also produced a slight decrease in congestion within the general purpose lanes.

* Buses and carpoolers have continued to enjoy the same service levels as those of 2005.

* Drivers heading east beyond Minneapolis on I-94 use the MnPASS as a bypass to avoid congestion from I-394 to I-94 in the general lanes.

* The lanes have become safer with the controlled access points.

* Motorists appreciate the value of MnPASS. There are currently over 11,300 transponders leased out, and more are opening every day.

* Electronic enforcement is used.

* Violators are subject to a $142 fine.

* The Minnesota State Patrol or other law enforcement officers will enforce this law.

* Ramp meter bypass lanes are restricted to car pools, transit vehicles, motorcycles and are not part of the MnPASS system.

The articles are posted solely for educational purposes to raise awareness of transportation issues. I claim no authorship, nor do I profit from this website. Where known, all original authors and/or source publisher have been noted in the post. As this is a knowledge base, rather than a blog, I have reproduced the articles in full to allow for complete reader understanding and allow for comprehensive text searching...see custom google search engine at the top of the page. If you have concerns about the inclusion of a specific article, please email for a speedy resolution.