Sacramento, CA — California hybrid owners are taking advantage of a new permit program that let´s them drive in the car pool lane, even when they´re not carpooling.
More than 12,000 people have applied for the new permits since they became available August 10. The state Department of Motor Vehicles has issued about 1,500 permits.
The hybrid exemption was created by a provision in a federal energy bill and state legislation signed last year by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Under the program, three hybrid models qualify: the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight and the hybrid Honda Civic.
Bay Area residents also must have a FasTrak transponder to receive the permit.