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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does any one know what the latest status is on using the hybrid cars in the car pool lanes during the rush hours? Has this been approved yet?

The latest that I heard is that they are reluctant to approve this law because in 5 years+++ a large number of drivers will have a hibrid car and will make the car pool lanes too crowded.

I have one hour drive to work and one hour back here in the San Francisco/San Jose bay area. It would great if we as Prius owners can use the car pool lane and reduce our drive by 15 -20 min each way.
 

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California passed it.

Required federal approval also, or Cali could lose federal highway funds.

Bill is working its waythrough Congress, not sure of status.

California bill expires in three years and limits permits so overcrowning cannot occur.

Feds need to get their heads out of their asses and let Cali decide what's best for Cali.

Detroit lobbyists are no doubt holding this off and changing the bill to allow domestic hybrid SUVs on them; present bill has MPG requirement.
 

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I've heard conflicting rumors on this law as to when it will be passed. One source says it could be as early as July 2005, another says January next year, another says July next year.

Opponents (like Ford who isn't bothering to make a hybrid to meet the requirements) are citing the Virginia law that was passed a while back that allowed ANY hybrid in the carpool lane and didn't limit the number of people who could register.

California is requiring the hybrid get at least 45 mpg to be eligible, which right now I think only includes the Prius (I and II), Honda Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid, and only 75,000 permits will be issued. Right now there are an estimated 25,000 in California, so it will be a little while before they have to limit applicants, even if hybrid sales skyrocket.

I agree the limit will be reached, though, and I wonder what the stipulation will be after that. Will all hybrid owners have to enter a lottery every year for a new sticker? That would MAJORLY suck for a commuter used to driving in the carpool lane to suddenly have that taken away. And if so, I could see a black market for correct lottery numbers pop up.

More likely, once the limit is reached, the vehicle would have to fall within a range of specified model years to be eligible.
 

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I haven't heard of any lottery. The reason for allowing them was (1) they DO contribute to clean air, and (2) to give incentive to early adopters. The latter obviously goes away after a few years, and i dnot' think the former is enough to keep it going.
 

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I think it's in the Senate's version of HR3 which they seem to be considering now.

http://www3.capwiz.com/c-span/issues/bi ... &size=full

I don't know what all those amendments are about or when they may actually vote on it. Then I think if it passes it goes to a House/Senate committe to iron out the differences btwn their 2 versions. Then maybe Mr. Bush may sign it, altho I understand the Senate is ignoring his cost recommendations. So who knows.

To summarize: ???

Ex
 

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Virginia does not allow any hybrid in carpool lanes. To qualify in Virginia a vehicle must be classified as a "Clean Special Fuel Vehicle" and you must register for license plates with the "Clean Special Fuel" designation.

From the Virginia DMV website (http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/vehicles/cleanspecialfuel.asp):

The following types of fuels MAY qualify a vehicle for clean special fuel plates:

Compressed Natural Gas
Electricity
Ethane
Hydrogen
Hythane
Liquefied Natural Gas
Liquefied Petroleum Gas
Methane
Solar
Combination of two types of clean special fuels

Flexible fuel vehicle engines do not utilize only a clean special fuel; therefore, they do not qualify for these license plates.

NOTE: Certain hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Honda Civic and Ford Escape hybrids are classified as clean special fuel vehicles.


 

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So how come Virginia gets to now and California has to wait for the Feds?

I expect Bush to veto that bill because 1. he warned them he would if the budget was increased and they increased it by 11 billion dollars (and then approved 82 billion more for Iran/Afghanistan) and 2. His approval is dropping and he is getting opposition from some in his party and he may just decide to give them a slap upside the head to show them who's boss, punish them, whatever.

While I'd like to see California grow some, I expect Sacramento will continue to be whimp-a$$.
 

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It would be a very BAD idea and raise a major outcry for the president to veto an environmentally-based bill after he already approved oil drilling in Alaska.

Then again, I wouldn't put it past him.
 

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I expect he'll sign it. He has given in to the oil companies so much he already has them in their pocket (actually, vice versa). A few more hybrids won't make a dent in their profits. But with gas at an all-time high the voters are furious, and this lets him APPEAR to be doing something positive about it. He needs the approval ratings in order to be an effective fundraiser in two years, and this is a painless way to get it bumped up a few.
 

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Virginia is violating federal law but Congress is letting us continue doing it as a sort of experiment.

Unfortunately there is a lot pressure on the Virginia Legislature to not renew the exemption after it expires in 2006. Some are saying that the major HOV lanes are too crowded and blame the increasing # of hybrids. In reality, the biggest problem is the HOV cheaters who clog the lanes and rarely get caught because so little is spent on enforcement.

I'm afraid what we'll likely see is the typical knee jerk reaction of a politician: bluster, posture and legislate a unnecessary change that they can wave around as proof that they are doing something, instead of spending some money on enforcement of existing laws that might actually positively affect the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HOV??........ is that Humans on Vehicle...

He hopefully this will be made Law soon. Perhaps if everyone that owns a Prius or that Honda Hybrid writes to the Governator we will see that law written into law a little sooner.

Is there a email or contact person up there in sacramento to find out what the status of this is?
 

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California's implementation of "hybrids in HOV lanes" solved those issues by limiting the time and number of permits. DC shoud get their fat asses out of the way and let us use them.
 

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Wait. If car pooling is a phenominal success and the HOV lane gets too crowded with 2-person vehicles, what will they do? Change to 3+?

They need to decide if they want clean air or fewer cars. Used to be, clean air was what they wanted, but I hadn't heard the air had cleaned up a lot...
 

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In Cali, the law expires in three years (maybe two, now that DC dragged it's heels), and there is a limit on the number of hybrid permits to be issues. It's just not going to be a problem here! Just because DC and/or other states didn't think to similarly limit permits is no excuse to make us suffer.

The intent was to bring on early adopters and reward them, also cleaning the air in the process. It isn't the cleaner air caused by just those few in the lanes they are thinking about, it's the effect of a general movement to cleaner vehicles like hybrids (which they are encouraging with the carpool lane law) that will result in measurable cleaner air.
 

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mikepaul said:
They need to decide if they want clean air or fewer cars. Used to be, clean air was what they wanted, but I hadn't heard the air had cleaned up a lot...
If you really want cleaner air, let the hummers and super-sized SUVS drive in the HOV lanes and all the hybrids (no matter how many passengers) drive in the normal lanes. Hybrid motors turn off in traffic, hummers do not. FFT
 

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Here is the cronological data:

DATE-INTRO: February 09, 2005

LAST-ACTION-DATE: May 26, 2005

STATUS:

Introduced in the House, 02/09/05

Reported in the House, 03/07/05

Supplemental report reported in the House, 03/08/05

Considered in the House, 03/09/05

Considered in the Senate, 04/26/05

Passed in the Senate, as amended, 05/17/05

Senate amendments rejected in the House, 05/26/05
 

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I see more and more every day. SoCal is getting flooded with Priuses apparently. I am starting to fear the backlash when that convoy of Priuses moves by people. Will they start throwing things at us? ;-)
 

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Two days ago I pulled my Prius out of the new parking garage on campus and I drove past a sliver, a black, a seaside and a salsa. I went to Trader Joe's where there was a salsa a black and a white one in the tiny parking lot there. If So Cal is flooded, the area around Pasadena/La Canada/La Crescenta is flash-flooded!!!!!! MUst be the JPL/Caltech influence, not too many technophobes here.

I'm thinking mine might look good with some "flams" or other adornment....
 

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Astrowoman said:
I'm thinking mine might look good with some "flams" or other adornment....
Maybe a bear cub sliding down the roof?
 
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