MnPass drivers will get caught in shutdown traffic jam

A note to car commuters who figure they've dodged a bullet after hearing about Metro Transit getting screwed by the shutdown: Some of you will not escape the pain.

MnPass, the program that lets drivers pay a premium to speed down the HOV lanes on local interstates, is also going dark on July 1 unless lawmakers agree on a budget.

The 18,000 drivers who subscribe to the program got an e-mail today telling them they'd have to suffer through rush hour just like everyone else because MnDOT won't have the money to keep the system operating.

The best way to avoid the headache: Find someone with whom to car pool. MnDOT tells the Business Journal that motorcycles, buses, and vehicles carrying more than one person will be allowed to use the HOV lanes during rush hour on weekdays.

And would-be scofflaws should take note that state troopers very likely will be on duty, shutdown or not.