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California Carpool Lanes Open To Solo Drivers Of Green Vehicles

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) -- A new program is allowing drivers of plug-in vehicles to access California's carpool lanes solo.

The state started issuing the new stickers on January 1st to drivers such as Steve Pinkard.  His car doesn't run on gasoline but uses natural gas, allowing him to use HOV lanes as a solo driver.

Pinkard said, "It saves me money, time, money, the works. The money is huge. My gas bill is half everybody else's. The bridge tolls are half."

Last year, the state ended its perk for thousands of hybrid cars with yellow stickers, which were the envy of many Bay Area drivers.

The new law means a new color coding system. White carpool tags are for cars that don't use gasoline but are powered by an electric battery, hydrogen fuel or natural gas. Plug-in gas/electric hybrid vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and Prius Plug-In are issued green stickers.

The California Air Resources Board is issuing green stickers only to the first 40,000 who apply. But there are an unlimited number of white stickers available. Hybrid cars that had yellow stickers are not eligible for the new program.

To find out which vehicles qualify for the HOV stickers, go to

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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