MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Drivers looking to sign up for MnPASS are out of luck.
Officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation said they encountered some unexpected obstacles when they tried to purchase a new shipment of the windshield clips for the MnPASS transponders. The MNpass comes in handy for solo drivers to get to their final destinations a little quicker.
But, if those people want to sign up Thursday for the first time, they’ll have to wait.
The HOV lanes on I-394 and I-35W are reserved for car pools, buses and motorcycles. Solo drivers can also have access if they pay a fee for the MnPass.
Here’s the problem: There’s a shortage of the windshield clips that activate the transponder on the MNpass, and for that reason, MnDOT is halting new registrations.
MnDOT Gets the clips from one vendor overseas and it usually takes about two to three months to receive a supply. MnDOT officials said it has placed an order and is now waiting to receive it, which should be sometime in April.
MnDOT officials said about 500 new people sign up for the MnPASS Express Lane every month. Officials said if they were to continue enrolling drivers, the current supply of transponder clips would run out. They’re holding onto their supply just in case existing customers need a new one.
“The good news is that we are in the process of having a new operations contract for our MnPASS system so that with that new operations contract, we’ll see some significant value savings for our customers,” Bobbie Dahlke with MnDOT said. “Also it allows us to have several vendors for our new transponders that we’re getting this summer, and so we’ll be able to avoid some of the glitches we’re seeing now.”
New customers can request to get an email to let them know when MnDOT reopens the window for new accounts. Here’s more information on MnPASS.