Assembly OKs bill allowing clean-air autos in car-pool lanes
By Jerry Hirsch
April 26, 2012, 2:15 p.m.
A bill that would prevent local transit agencies from tossing solo drivers in zero- and low-emission vehicles out of some car-pool lanes cleared the California Assembly on Thursday.
The legislation, authored by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), would allow cars with a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker free access to carpool lanes that are converted to High Occupancy Toll lanes.
There are a number of such projects around the state and agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to make any solo drivers pay for access, regardless of what they are driving. Car-poolers and buses will still be able to use the lanes without charge.
In Southern California, transit officials are converting 25 miles of carpool lanes on the 10 and 110 freeways into such toll lanes. Solo drivers will have to pay up to $1.40 a mile during peak rush-hour traffic.
As part of a one-year and pilot program, the MTA plans to start charging tolls for solo drivers using a section of the 110 Freeway between Adams Boulevard and the Artesia Transit Center in October and the 10 Freeway between Alameda Street and the 605 Freeway in February.