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Gov. Brown extends use of carpool lanes for electric cars, others

Traffic is backed up along the 210 Freeway in Irwindale after an accident earlier last month. Gov. Jerry Brown acted Saturday on a trio of bills that affect who can use the carpool lanes and when. (Leo Jarzomb / Associated Press / August 22, 2013)
By Patrick McGreevy

September 28, 2013, 2:16 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday approved a four-year extension of carpool lane access for electric cars and low-emission vehicles, but vetoed a bill that would have allowed solo motorists in regular cars access to those lanes on two Los Angeles County freeways during off-peak hours.

All together, the governor signed 20 pieces of legislation Saturday, including six bills promoting the use of low- and zero-emission cars.

“Today, we reaffirm our commitment in California to an electric vehicle future,” Brown said in a statement.

Under one bill approved by Brown, cars with white vehicle stickers from the state — including electric, hydrogen fuel cell and compressed natural-gas vehicles — will be able to use carpool lanes until Jan. 1, 2019. Without Brown’s signature, the access would have expired Jan. 1, 2015. Former Assemblyman Robert Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) introduced AB 266.

The governor also signed a companion measure that the extends the state’s green sticker program allowing certain low-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, to drive in high-occupancy or “diamond” lanes until 2019, or until federal authorization expires. Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) wrote SB 286.

Related bills signed by the governor make electric-vehicle charging stations more accessible to all drivers, develop new rules to include charging stations in apartment buildings and non-residential structures and provide $30 million in incentives for hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses.


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