MNPass has officially started on I-394 in Minneapolis and the West Metro. Solo drivers can now buy their way into the carpool lane to avoid rush hour traffic and join the carpoolers and motorcycles in the congestion free lanes. However there is one important thing that all drivers must be aware of. The MNPass lane is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Under the old system, just a carpool lane, it was from like 6-9am eastbound and 4-6pm westbound Monday-Friday. Outside of those days and times, anyone was free to drive in the carpool lane. This was because traffic wasn’t bad enough to justify a 24hour a day carpool lane. There were many times I drove in it on my way to school in the evenings. Not anymore. Now, any solo driver, without a MNPass, will get pulled over and ticketed for driving in the MNPass lane. Even if they are the only ones on the freeway at 4am on a Sunday morning.
That was big news to me as I had no clue, and often use the carpool lane during non-rushours and weekends. But my wife told me I could get a $130 ticket for going over into that lane! So I wrote the Minnesota Department of Transportation and they confirmed my fears. That’s an important piece of information that I was unaware of.
So, if you drive 394 on a daily basis, or only make it to the city once in a while, you are not allowed to drive in the MNPass (carpool) lane with only one person in your car. Of course, if you have a MNPass, more than one person in your car or are on a motorcycle, then you can drive it it whenever you want.
Unfortunately, I drive I394 every day to and from work. In the morning, I used to be able to use the HOV lane going
away from downtown, and on the way home use the lane again. No problem. Traffic USED to move smoothly and fairly efficently in the non rush hour directions. Now, everybody is constricted to two lanes. Every morning, the highway is
stacked bumper to bumper most of the way between downtown and 494! The most vehicles that I’ve seen in the really bad idea lane has been 5! And 4 of them had multiple passengers! The MNPASS lane is a joke. It costs money to drive in it, but it also costs money to SIT IN TRAFFIC! It’s got to go.
Agreed. I also drive 394 daily and was able to use the HOV lane outside of posted times. The MnPass lane has got to be the worst effort to reduce congestion I’ve witnessed. I thought the whole idea behind reducing congestion was to provide alternative paths, not take them away. Regardless, collective genius has decided that the toll lanes should be active 24/7.
From my perspective, the state has found a way to generate revenue by first, legally, creating the problem! Maybe it’s just me, but I have serious reservations about paying a fee to use a lane that was readily available before.
The state better get rid of the 24/7 toll before Winter hits or ALL 394 drivers are going to see some serious gridlock!
I hear now that the knew it’d make traffic worse! So they may add another regular lane to 394. That’s just what we need, road construction all summer long. I guess that will make the MNPass lane more popular and make the state more money.
I hate MnPass. There is nothing more to be said, if you disagree and are not rich drive on 394 and see for yourself.
Shut up and quit whining. If you’re a sappy, “all is fair and we should all get equal treatment” type personality you need to wise up. Next we should all get to use first class on airplanes when it is not full because the back of the airplane is too crowded. Everyone should get to live in a million dollar condo because we all pay our taxes and are good, god fearing people. Life is not fair- eat it.
You complain about the rich. Maybe we should knock down some low cost housing in the 394 corridor to make room for a fourth lane. Just so long as you don’t get screwed it’s O.K.- Your double standard is nauseating.
You have to work? I am so sorry, what an incredible shame! What’s that? You have to sit in some traffic because you refuse to pay the extra 25 cents per trip- Good god, this is AN INJUSTICE- AN OUTRAGE- GET ME THE GOVERNOR!!!!
Nevermind the fact that the money helps rebuild our highway sytems after particularily harsh winters. Nevermind the fact that most states build seperate toll roads that are incredibly successful and superior to regular roads. You deserve nice roads- especially ones with no traffic and exceptionally flat, clean surfaces- without paying extra for it. Save your pennies and your complaints. Take yourself out to a nice dinner at the end of the year and pat yourself on the back- just don’t tip the waiter- only the rich do that.
Wow Jim, you have some major pent up anger. My main issue was the 24/7 idea and that went away. I’m happy with how it turned out and it works.