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Hybrids and HOV Lanes

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited March 6 in General
Here's the place to discuss various initiatives around the country for hybrid and electric vehicle use of HOV lanes.
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Comments

  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    For the latest status on this bill to allow one person occupied hybrids (only 2004 Prius, Civics, and Insights as it's written now) in the HOV lanes in California, go to the CA bill sight www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html and type in 2628. The current status is that it's passed in the legistrature and is almost to the end of the senate passing it also. It will have it's 3rd reading today then should go up for a vote soon afterwards. Once they pass it the only thing left to do will be for Arnold to sign it and he already said he would, despite his owning 4 Hummers. :o)
  • How long could this bill last even if it is passed? Cars with one person in them taking up space in the HOV lane will not help my morning commute with my two coworkers.

    -Joey
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    What CA and I'm sure other states need to do is take all the people that are in those lanes illegally OUT of the lanes. Since you and your two co-workers are in the lane and not watching it, it's harder for you to see that at least 25% of the people in the HOV lane DON'T belong there. CA is limiting the exception to only 50,000 hybrids, hardly a factor in LA county where there are 4,000,000 cars on the road (at least!)
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I agree. Here in Atlanta it's more like 50% at any given time. No patrols at all. The worst are the Land Rover Discoverys. They are always in those HOV lanes with one person. And those get are as bad a polluters as the Hummer H2!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    I don't drive during rush hour enough to be an authority. My experience on the commuter lanes was not very good. I seem to get behind someone driving 55-60 mph. The rest of the lanes are going by us at 70-75mph. And you can be stuck for several miles on Interstate 5 & 15 in San Diego County. I wonder how they would limit the hybrids to 50,000 vehicles. Actually 2 people in a Corolla that gets 30+mpg is better than 2 people driving a Prius that gets 50mpg. Not that it really affects me. I think the tax incentives are a better benefit for hybrid owners.
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    The way it will work in CA is that the highway dept. issues a permit (sticker) for cars allowed in the HOV lane with only one passenger. Currently they are cars powered by all electric or natural gas. They will only issue 50,000 of these stickers then see how they have impacted the HOV lanes. If possible, they will then issue 25,000 more.
  • jpricejprice Posts: 58
    <Actually 2 people in a Corolla that gets 30+mpg is better than 2 people driving a Prius that gets 50mpg.>

    I'm sure it's just a typo, but you must mean "1 person driving a Prius..." 2 people in the Prius at 50mpg is obviously better than two people in a Corolla at 30mpg.

    jprice
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Jprice:

    ___I believe Gagrice did get it right. 2 people in a car getting 30 mpg is better then 1 in a car receiving 50 mpg. Not including emissions of course … And what about the individual driving the Corolla receiving > 45 mpg and the Hybrid driver receiving less?

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    My point was lost I guess. Carpooling is good for everyone. Not taking anything from those that drive a Prius. Two people in a Prius would be great. Four even better. Just think of the savings if 50 people took a Hybrid Bus.
  • jpricejprice Posts: 58
    Wayne,
    Are you sure you really read what I said? Try it again...

    John P.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    My wife and I pulled along side a woman in a Jeep Cherokee. She had a female blow up doll in the passenger seat. I commented to my wife to look. She said she is probably doing that to sneak into the commuter lanes. Like they say, What ain't fruits and nuts in California, are Flakes.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I've seen a few blow up dolls here in Tx and not always in the HOV lane... but gagrice if there are a bunch of fruits & nuts in Ca where does that leave you on an island ?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    When in San Diego I am on a mountain. I'm sure there are people that would consider me flakey also. I can guarantee I would never work an 8 to 5 job in CA and commute to work. That is why I quit and moved to Alaska in 1970. It is a nice place if you don't have to commute to work. I take care of my business from 10 to 2PM then get off the roads.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    If I did have to commute I would be in the market for a Hybrid or diesel for sure.
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    The bill has passed through the state senate and now will go back to the assembly for "concurance". The next step will put it on Arnold's desk for the governer's signature, maybe as early as this Friday. On a sidenote, Ford sent a letter to the governer that opposed him signing it saying it amounted to a "buy Japanese bill". A couple of the senators had great responses to that. One said that obviously a hybrid car CAN be built that meets the pollution standards and gets 45+ mpg. Ford just needs to "spend more time figuring out how to out-compete the Japanese" That's especially funny since Ford is using the Synergy Drive to power their new Escape.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,792
    Everyone does realize that the bill is limited to only 50,000 cars? Or at least that is the last update I heard on the issue...
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    They will allow 50,000 cars and then do an evaluation on the impact of those extra cars in the HOV lanes. They may add another 25,000 after that. 50,000 is a lot of 2004 Prius, Civics and Insights, they are the only year models and cars that meet the regulations in the bill for the exemption.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I think that the mostly empty HOV lanes in California are an excellent example of what happens when a government entity thinks it can force people to do the "right" thing. If we take away a lane and only allow carpoolers to use it, we'll force them to carpool. Result: increased congestion, a needlessly empty lane, and people buying blow-up dolls. Same thing with CARB - if we force the manufacturers to build smaller cars, people will buy smaller cars. I think not.

    Anyway, now they are trying to backpedal by allowing single-passenger cars, but only if the car is a hybrid and only if it gets 45+ mpg. Again, let's force them to buy the cars we think are the right ones to buy. I think Ford is right to protest. The real purpose of the HOV lanes were to decrease smog and traffic congestion, not decrease gas consumption. By unecessarily tacking on the hybrid and mpg requirements, the legislature is unfairly excluding PZEV (or even SULEV) vehicles, and ICE vehicles that get excellent mileage.

    IMHO, the whole HOV lane thing should be scrapped anyway as a complete (and predictable) failure. Gee, I wonder how many of the California legislators carpool to work?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Same thing with CARB - if we force the manufacturers to build smaller cars, people will buy smaller cars. I think not.

    I think you're correct. That is probably a contributing factor of increased sales of large crew cab pickup trucks with diesel engines. They are not as heavily regulated as cars and the natural reaction is to avoid unfair & unbalanced regulation.
  • wzmazerwzmazer Posts: 2
    Do you know how they will allocate these 50,000 decals? Also, will the decals be tied to specific cars, or will they be resellable in a secondary market (ie eBay)?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    You bring up an interesting possibilty. I think if I were to buy a HOV sticker on ebay and try to use it on my Suburban, I'd get busted. I'm sure they have to be on the vehicles they were issued for.
  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    The decals will only be issued to autos applying for them that meet the qualifications. I think it would be easy to tell if a car meets the requirements since there are so few models that do. I don't know where you've seen empty HOV lanes but any HOV lane at rush hours in LA are used. The biggest problem in the LA area is with air quality. Allowing these super clean cars a little bonus hopefully will entice more people to buy some. It would be nice in the future though if they relax the mpg qualifications and just allow at least the PZEV ICE cars in also.
  • wzmazerwzmazer Posts: 2
    Thanks, folks. I wasn't implying putting them on non-qualifying vehicles. I am in the market for a car and want to do whatever I can to cut my Bay Area 50 mile each way commute. I can't guarrantee that I'll get a decal when I buy the car, so I'd be willing to pay someone for their decal if I don't get lucky in the lottery. From your answer, Raguero, that doesn't sound doable. In that case, there's no HOV incentive to someone like myself who is considering a purchase now, other than a chance at the lottery.

    On that note, any ideas how many qualifying vehicles are on the road right now (ie what are my odds in the lottery)? If they are going to give out 50,000 passes, any estimates of how many applicants?

    BTW, my estimated value of a pass is easily above $1500. If you cross the Bay Bridge today, it's $3/day (or roughly $750/year).
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,792
    I read an article that said the max in the bill was 75000 vehicles, but haven't seen any confirmation.

    They will be issued first come first serve, and will probably be tied to either the vehicle and owner or just the vehicle.
  • Hi gang,
      Here in the SF Bay Area we have the "diamond" or HOV lanes to allow carpooling where, depending on location, 2 or sometimes 3 people in a car qualify as a "carpool". The hours listed will vary slightly, in my area the hours are 5-10 am and 3-7 pm. The last hour of the stated time period is useless because the carpoolers have already arrived at work! I don't know if the CHP (California Highway Patrol) will still issue a $271 ticket or not, but it seems stupid to me. Also, the traffic on the opposite, or non-commute direction is subject to the SAME traffic controls as the commute direction!!
       There are hundreds of bills on Gov. Schwarzeneger's desk waiting to be signed before an upcoming deadline and hopefully one of those bills he should quickly approve is the one that allows hybrids/high mpg vehicles to drive in the diamond lanes even with only a driver. Let us only hope.
    Thanks,
    Rich
  • As I understand it, if Aaanold doesn't sign the bill (as with any bill) it will go into effect. What will take precedent will be the bills that he wants to veto. He already as said he will sign this one but then we'll have to wait for the federal bodies to give CA the approval to implement it. I'm ready now, it would easily cut 20-30 min. off my 1 - 1 1/2 hour commute each way here in LA.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,792
    " I'm ready now, it would easily cut 20-30 min. off my 1 - 1 1/2 hour commute each way here in LA. "

    Nope, or at least not for long. LA has the most hybrids in the country, and those HOV lanes will simply be clogged up - with single drivers, this time...
  • that is already a problem here. There are too many people in the lanes that don't belong and CHP just doesn't have the manpower to enforce it. It'll still make Some difference.
  • Arnold signed the HOV Hybrid Bill today. Per the news, it will take effect on Jan. 1, 2005. This is of course pending the US DOT approval which should come before then. There will be details on how to apply for the special decal upcoming.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    The only real problem I see with the hybrids in the commuter lanes is speed. If a guy is trying to get the best mileage from his hybrid he may block traffic if he drives 55 mph. As long as the hybrid keeps up the 75 mph average that people drive in the commuter lane, I say more power to the hybrid guy. And I agree that the laws should be enforced on using the lane illegally.
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