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New Hybrid Owners SOL in Carpool Lanes

As we speculated long ago, you are likely out of luck if you own a hybrid and want those coveted “Access OK” yellow stickers. For now, the state is all out of them. If you just bought a hybrid thinking that you will laugh at those other solo drivers marooned in traffic while you cruise blissfully by in the carpool lane, you are in for some serious disappointment (from L.A. Times):

In an effort to prevent carpool lanes from becoming clogged with solo hybrid drivers, state lawmakers set an initial cap of 75,000 cars that would be allowed to cruise the carpool lanes. Faced with high demand, the Legislature voted to allow 10,000 more hybrids in the lanes starting Jan. 1. Demand was so high that the state ran out of permits in four weeks. To add insult to injury, only those hybrid drivers with the desirable yellow stickers will able to park for free at L.A. City parking meters (from the DOT website):On June 21, 2006, the Los Angeles City Council voted to extend the program providing free parking at City parking meters for hybrid vehicles through December 31, 2007; but the Council also directed the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance limiting participation in the free parking program to only those vehicles that have Clean Air Vehicle Decals issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.For those of us who were lucky enough to get those $8 stickers, we’re happy we got those stickers long before they became so popular. We are apparently sitting on a goldmine.
· Stickerless Drivers Stuck [LA Times]
· Hey, On the Bright Side? [Franklin Avenue]