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Wow...when I posted that earlier today, they hadn't updated the site yet. They work fast!
 

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Drivers of Single-Occupant Hybrid Cars Can Now Use HOV Lanes in California

Assemblymember Pavley’s measure to be implemented immediately

August 10, 2005



SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Fran Pavley today announced that Assembly Bill 2628, a bill allowing single-occupant hybrid vehicles to use carpool lanes, will be immediately implemented by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I am thrilled that the Schwarzenegger Administration has decided that we can allow drivers of single-occupant hybrid vehicles to use HOV lanes now,” said Assemblymember Pavley. “This bill is great for Californians. It eases our commutes, saves us money at the pump, reduces our dependency on foreign oil, and cleans our air all at the same time.”



AB 2628, authored by Assemblymember Pavley and sponsored by Treasurer Phil Angelides and the Schwarzenegger Administration, allows hybrid electric vehicles that meet tough emissions and fuel efficiency standards, access to California’s high occupancy vehicle (HOV), or carpool, lanes regardless of the number of people in the vehicle. The legislation will take full advantage of the available capacity in the state’s HOV lanes while encouraging California motorists to use less fuel.



Under AB 2628, the hybrid electric vehicles that will be allowed access to HOV lanes would include those that meet California’s strictest advanced technology-partial zero emission vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards and achieve 45 miles per gallon or higher. In addition, an estimated 20,000 pre-2005 gas-electric hybrid vehicles that meet less stringent emissions criteria but also have a 45 miles per gallon or higher rating would be allowed into HOV lanes. Under the legislation, the hybrid vehicles that would be eligible today for HOV access would include the Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Prius. As new hybrid vehicles are developed, they, too, will become eligible for HOV access if they meet the strictest AT-PZEV emissions and fuel efficiency standards.



The state legislation has taken effect because President Bush today signed federal legislation which allows states to let drivers of single-occupant low-emission and fuel efficient vehicles use carpool lanes, provided that those vehicles meet certain criteria. Just today, the Schwarzenegger administration announced that California can proceed and implement AB 2628.



“This is a ‘WIN-WIN-WIN’ – cleaning up our air, reducing dependence on foreign oil, and saving money at the pump," said Pavley, who had introduced a similar measure in 2001. She pointed out that her 2002 legislation, AB 1493, requires car manufacturers to lower greenhouse gas emissions in passenger vehicles and light duty trucks. “Now,” she said, “AB 2628 will provide incentives for new technologies and alternative fuel vehicles to help accomplish this goal."



There are currently 1,112 miles of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in California, with another 1,045 proposed to be completed through 2030. Currently, access to HOV lanes in California is restricted to vehicles carrying at least two, and in some cases three people; zero-emission and “inherently low emission vehicles” (electric and compressed natural gas vehicles); two-seater vehicles carrying two passengers; transit vehicles; and motorcycles.



Under AB 2628, vehicles that are newly eligible for access to HOV lanes will be affixed with decals similar to those currently available for electric and compressed natural gas vehicles. Drivers of solo-occupant hybrid vehicles will not be able to legally access HOV lanes without the decal. The legislation will be in effect until January 1, 2008. The legislation would limit to 75,000 the number of decals available to eligible hybrid electric vehicles. The legislation also provides other assurances that traffic in HOV lanes will continue to flow smoothly.



CONTACT: Susan Little

TELEPHONE: (916) 640-6608

(916) 319-2041

Appropriate form below

(Don't forget to include Clean Air Vehicle Sticker Fee (original or replacement) (VC §§5205.5, 21655.9) = $8 made out to the DMV)

Mail to:
Department of Motor Vehicles,
Special Processing Unit MS D238,
PO Box 932345 Sacramento, CA 94232-3450
 

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Contrary to those thoughts let's hope that Prius' drivers in the HOV lane don't choose to attempt to get 60 mpg - at all costs... :roll:

Would anyone happen to know the approximate number of Prii owners residing in California at present?
 

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Guess: about 40,000?

Someone who posts here knows, and I remember checking their figure vs. the 75,000 limit, and realized there was no hurry to apply.

Yet!
 

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I don't understand the fine print. It states Evidence of an Automatic Vehicle Identification system FasTrak account must be submitted. It totally targeted the Bay Area.

What if we don't take the bridge. Do I need a FastTrak Account?

Confused.
 

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"As of the end of June, there were 57,164 hybrids registered in California, though not all would be car pool-eligible, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In a sign of the vehicles' growing popularity, nearly 24,000 hybrids were registered in the first six months of this year."
We have enough stickers to go around for current owners....
 

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Happy and Afraid

I'm elated since I waited soooo long for this. However, I had my heart set on a 2006, now I'm wondering I should wait that long since there's a 70,000 hybrid limit. Prefer to wait till January 1, 2006 for the tax credit. Should I go get me one today? or wait 2006 model or January 1?
 

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kappntrippin said:
I don't understand the fine print. It states Evidence of an Automatic Vehicle Identification system FasTrak account must be submitted. It totally targeted the Bay Area.

What if we don't take the bridge. Do I need a FastTrak Account?

Confused.
Yes, you do need a FasTrak account if you live in the bay area. I thought it sucked too, because my commute is down the peninsula and the only time I cross the bridge is maybe a few times a year to visit friends or go on vacation. I figured if it worked the way toll pass books used to work...buy a bunch at a discount and have to use them all within 2 months and then get re-charged for it periodically, that it wasn't worth it.

But then I checked the terms very carefully, and all you need to do is cross the bridge at least once every 12 months and you'll be fine. It costs $40 to start an account, which includes a transponder and $40 toll credit. They will automatically re-charge your account only if your balance dips below $20. If your account is inactive for 12 months, they will close it, de-activate your transponder, send a refund, and ask for the transponder back (though you can re-activate it later).

I figure since I cross the bridge a couple times a year, it's still worth it for me. $40 one-time set-up, of which I'll use maybe $12 in a year, and of course the $8 sticker fee.
 

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I signed up for Fastrack today. My Prius has never crossed a Bay area bridge...

So my account will be inactive for a year and they send me my $40 back.
Plus interest. Sure...

Does that mean I am done with Fastrack at the end of the year, or will DMV require me to open a new account?

Is there any legal requirement to even carry the silly transponder in my car?

I sure appreciate this opportunity to loan the Bridge authority my $40.

Robert
 

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Re: Ca residents looking for HOV.....

Roger V said:
Thanks for posting the info. Just sent off my form and check today.
Sent your check where? What about the inspection part of the process?

Here are the steps as outlined on the DMV site:

1. Complete an application
2. Take your vehicle to the DMV office for inspection
3. Submit your application to the DMV and pay the clean air fee.

You seem to have skipped step #2.
 

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There is no need to do your step 2. The form gives you a place to say what car you have. You also provide the VIN which gives them the same information. You just have to sign up for FasTrak and send in the DMV form with $8. That was clearly stated in the news, the newspaper and the DMV website.
 

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Re: Ca residents looking for HOV.....

ScubaX said:
2. Take your vehicle to the DMV office for inspection

You seem to have skipped step #2.
No inspection in the instructions:
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg1000.htm

How To Apply for Clean Air Vehicle Stickers

1. Complete an Application for Clean Air Vehicle Stickers (REG 1000).
2. If the Clean Air Vehicle is a hybrid and you are a resident of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano or Sonoma County, you must include an original receipt from the Bay Area Toll Authority as evidence of a "FasTrak" toll account. Submit your application, fee, and FasTrak receipt (see above) to DMV.
3. Mail the completed application to:...

Louie
 

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Thats pretty instresting. My three steps were coppied off the DMV site on a link provided in one of the threads on this subject. The same page where I printed up my form. I guess the page has changed so much that the wrong info is still available depending on which link you click.

Thanks for clearing that up.
 

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no inspection needed

No problem. Up until yesterday, I had an appointment at the local DMV scheduled so I can get an inspection done because I was under the same assumption based on the previous version of the instructions.

I'd be very curious about how many applications are being received and processed on a day-to-day basis. No doubt in my mind that there be a flood next week as more and more hybrid owners learn of the news.

Louie
 

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At least we know there are enough stickers for all current Prius owners. Can you imagine if there were only 25,000 or so available now. There would be a mad rush to get the forms in today. As it is now, the excited ones will mail theirs in today but the lazier folks will do just fine waiting.
 

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Re: Ca residents looking for HOV.....

LouieNet said:
3. Mail the completed application to:...

Louie
So, Louie, what are you planning to do with all those completed applications? :lol:
 
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