No More Hybrid HOV-Lane Access in California
...California Yanks Prius Perks: No More Hybrid HOV-Lane Access... Once again, it's Arnold's fault.
Uh.. not so fast there my friend. First, that article by John Voelker gave a very strange spin to this. Other journalists such as yours truly came to a different spin
And, it's not Arnold's fault. Not that Arnold is a saint but in this case it's not his fault.
Truth as seen through this mind is:-
The purpose of the HOV lane is to decrease traffic congestion and improve air quality. Allowing single occupant vehicles into the HOV lane does not decrease traffic congestion.
Some Hybrid vehicles (85,000) were granted HOV access under an exemption which was due to expire on Dec 31, 2010. What's happened is that the powers that be decided to not extend that exemption. This is an exemption that was always going to expire, and they're simply letting it expire.
There was a law passed by California legislature and signed by Arnold that extended the exemption for EV's and CNG vehicles. The EV/CNG exemption was enacted in ?1999? (during the EV mandate era) and allowed for single occupant EV/CNG vehicles with a sticker into the HOV lane. A single occupant EV/CNG obviously doesn't decrease traffic congestion but clearly improves air quality.
The EV/CNG/Hybrid exemption was done as a perk to encourage adoption. Hybrids are popular enough today that they don't need this perk to spur adoption, especially as the 85,000 quota of hybrid HOV stickers were exhausted a long time ago.
At the end of my article is a link to the legislative analysis, and that analysis is excellent and goes over the details that I've summarized above.