Hybrids cleared for carpool lane, doo dah, doo dah

In California, that is.

We bought a Honda Civic hybrid several months ago and have been very pleased with the terrific mileage it gets. Mr. brown has a long commute and we felt that this was the way to go for us.

California has been mulling over letting hybrids drive in the carpool lane, and it was just announced yesterday that it’s a go. Yay! Now not only do we get 50 mpg, but we can drive in the diamond lane! Mr. brown used to ride a motorcycle for just these advantages, but crappy drivers and rainy weather caused him to sell the bike and get a hybrid.

We’re happy. At least until everybody and their dog starts buying hybrids and the carpool lane becomes just as crowded as the other lanes.

Good for you and Mr. Brown!

I like the idea of the hybrid being able to use the commuter lane. Maybe it will motivate people to consider purchasing one instead of a polluting, gas guzzling SUV.
I also heard they were throwing around a “pay-to-use” thing for the commuter lane. Now that would be ridiculous!

[size=1]«Ðëëp¤F®ïêd»™ - who only has to cross Monterey Rd. to get to work.[size] :slight_smile:

::grumble grumble::

stupid forward-slash, a pox on you !!

Dang! I was going to get a hybrid, but I heard speculation that the technology would be improving significantly within the next two years or so. I mulled it over for months before deciding to get an Accord 4 banger instead. If I’d have known they were going to open up the diamond lanes for them, that would have pushed me over the edge to move on a Prius or Civic hybrid.

Oh well, the next car I get…

I could ride most of the time when I lived in L.A. I averaged about 9,000 miles/year on the bike. Imagine my shock when I moved to the PNW and found out there’s something called a ‘riding season’! :eek:

So is it just hybrids, or does this law permit any vehicle with similar fuel efficiency use the carpool lane? How 'bout natural gas fueled vehicles?

I believe the law specifies only Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic hybrid, and the Honda Insight. The ability of the vehicle to get over 50 mpg seemed to be the defining factor. Previous to this, motorcycles were allowed to use the carpool lane because of their fuel efficiency. I’m not sure about natural gas fueled vehicles - that’s an interesting question.

I have nothing to add to your thread.

I just wanted to let you know that I’ll have Man In Wheelchair Killed By Train, doo dah, doo dah singing in my head all damn day, and it’s all your fault.

There is a federal law that says motorcycles can use the HOV lanes. Some states balked at this at first, Virginia being one of them. Now Virginia allows hybrids to use the HOV lanes as well, at least for now.

I always figured that motorcycles can use the lane because they only have one seat. Just like I can use the 3 passengers or more lane in the Bay Area with my Miata as long as the other seat is full.

So does this rule include Prius’s that have had something horrible happen to the fuel system so they only get 15 mpg?

No. Obviously they will need to have a testing station at every on ramp to prevent this type of abuse.

Meh. Personally I find the commuter lanes annoying and congestion amplifying when commuters, realizing that their exit ramp is half a mile ahead, start trying to cross five lanes of traffic before they pass the ramp. Everybody has to slow down and next thing you know you’ve got hundreds of cars at a full dead stop because some wank couldn’t think ahead. This happens at five different spots (at least) between work and home on the afternoon commute.

And everytime I get in one of those lanes, at the unwanted prodding of passengers, I end up getting stuck behind some little old lady going 50mph and no way to get out until the next exit break in the double lines.


Arizona has allowed alternate fuel vehicles to use HOV lanes for years. Unfortunately most of them are massive pickups and SUVs which have a CNG system with a token size tank that was paid for by a tax credit so nearly all are running on good old gasoline.