Featured Hybrids kicked out of Free HOV?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by wjtracy, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    That is partially true ...if there is anybody using hybrids now coming in on I-66 (out past Manassas we are talking), they could get a plug-in or get a ride partner for HOV-2. This works until 2022 when HOT-3 construction is finished everyone needs 3 PAX or pays the toll.

    OK OK but I do not recall anyone saying (here for example) that hybrid's were getting kicked out of HOV. This was burried in legal code somewhere, perhaps extended becuase nobody knew about it?

    My question is, those places that have had hybrids in HOV (New York LIE is the only place I know), have they also kicked hybrids out?
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    VDOT certainly knew. They had to have known the previous deadlines too, and that they had been extended. But somebody in the PR department may have been lax in getting the word out to the public.

    Most of the VDOT pages I looked at, don't have visible dates. But here are various pages that do:

    Sep 11, 2019: Lane change: Not all hybrids will be able to ride solo in Va. HOV lanes | WTOP
    Updated Sep 6, 2019: High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes - Rules and FAQs
    - Travel | Virginia Department of Transportation

    Sep 5, 2019: HOV lane changes: Only hybrid plug-in vehicles can ride alone for free starting Sept. 30 | WJLA
    June 2016: http://outside.transform66.org/documents/meetings/2016june/i-66_otb_hov2_to_hov3_conversion_tech_report_final_06-10-2016_v7_final.pdf
    Nov 2015: Hybrid Owners To Lose 'Clean Fuel' HOV Exemption On Virginia's I-66 | WAMU
    Nov 2012: HOV Hybrid Exemption Extended in Virginia - NBC4 Washington

    California had that too, but those stickers expired some time ago and new stickers were for plug-ins and other alternative fuels only.

    The Feds make very clear that the LIE program expires today (emphasis added), but I can't yet find that expiration on the linked NY page:
    "High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
    Through the Clean Pass Program, eligible plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles may use the Long Island Expressway HOV lanes, regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle. Vehicles must display the Clean Pass vehicle sticker, which is available from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. This exemption expires September 30, 2019. For a list of eligible vehicles and Clean Pass sticker application instructions, see the Clean Pass Program website."
     
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  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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  4. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    OK thank you!
    so it looks like all "Gas Hybrids" kicked out of free HOV nationally as of yesterday. Takes me by surprise...we started hearing about it on TV in the last 30 days. I do not personally use HOV, so that is part of my problem.

    To some extent that may help plug-in sales and reduce hybrid sales. However, there are limited places where the traffic is so bad, where the HOV is so great, that it matters much. Ceratinly Ca., North Va., NY it can impact vehicle sales.

    >>Here is some "slug line" news just to show the discussion. "Slugs" are car pool drivers who pick up at least 2 passengers. So what they are saying hybrids are now kicked out on I395 into DC, so you gotta slug or pay toll, and they are apparently giving slug drivers some freedom to go on the HOT3 without tolls and without riders if they are there for the purplse of picking up/droppinhg off people. Tolls can be over $$$$45 for tiny distance (dynamic tolls). Our issue is we have good car pools on I95/I395, but the I66 drivers never got into it, so we need the slugging to expand.

    Dear Slugs/Drivers:

    There are a lot of changes to the 395 Express Lanes, so I wanted to share with you the latest information.

    395 Express Lanes: Slugs, and drivers, are free to DC

    The 395 (HOT-3) Express Lanes will open this November and the project team has announced a perk to keep slugging strong on I-395.

    When the 395 Express Lanes open, drivers who carpool up to Eads Street and exit the Lanes to drop off sluggers will be able to get back on the Lanes for free - but other drivers who first get on the Lanes here will pay a toll. (Of course, if you carpool the entire trip into DC, it's free as well.)

    That's right, drivers who take sluggers to Eads Street get to go free for the rest of the trip.

    How will it work?

    • Carpool up the northbound 395 Express Lanes with your Flex in HOV mode, just like normal.
    • Get off at Eads Street to drop off slugs at the Pentagon or Pentagon City. (Or keep carpooling into DC.)
    • Switch your Flex to "HOV off" -- since you don't have 3 people in the car anymore -- before you get back on the northbound Lanes from Eads Street. That way you don't risk getting pulled over by Virginia State Police troopers who are looking for real cheaters.
    • Even though your Flex will be set to "HOV off," the operators will know you carpooled to Eads Street. You won't be charged to finish your trip to the city. Pretty great, right?


    [​IMG]

    But what if I forget to flip the switch back?
    A sign on the ramp to get back on the Lanes will remind you to flip the switch. And, the operator of Lanes is giving Virginia State Police tools to help to validate the earlier part of your trip, just in case you forget to switch and get pulled over.

    It's that easy - a flip of the switch and you go free to DC.

    If you don't have an E-ZPass Flex yet, visit EZPassVA.com.

    Happy slugging.


    Sincerely,
    David LeBlanc
    Slug-Lines.com

    >>I have the special Va. EZ Pass Flex so I have to remember to switch the setting depending on how many people in the car, if I decide to go on the HOT lanes, which is not common for us as we do not commute to work anymore.
     
    #25 wjtracy, Oct 1, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  6. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

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    Call me crazy, but HOV lanes should be used for vehicles with....high occupancy. Otherwise, there is basically little benefit in traffic congestion reduction.

    I once spent 4 hours for a trip that should have been 1 hour on the parking lot known as the I405. The road design on the east side of Lake Washington is abysmal.
     
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  7. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the issue comes down to crowded hov lanes, and advancing tech sales by moving out the old and bringing in the new, while still allowing for the original intent, high occupancy vehicles.

    in this day and age, we're fortunate they haven't been converted to single occupancy land yachts
     
  9. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I posted in the EV Mississippi Facebook Group

    "Nationwide, today HOV lanes are not available for single passenger hybrids, you would need at least a PHEV or BEV to use HOV as a single occupant.

    Here in MS, none of the zero miles of HOV lanes in MS were available to single occupant Hybrids before, and none of the zero miles of HOV lanes in MS are available to single occupant Hybrids now.

    Given the whole zero miles of HOV lanes in Mississippi, PHEVs and BEVs don't actually have it much better than mere hybrids in this regard unless they leave the state. Now you know!"

    The reply was that since there were no HOV lanes in MS, drivers drove in the bike lanes instead.
     
  10. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    if you read the original legislative intent, the multiple purposes of the regulation, at least in California, is to save fossil fuel, cut smog AND reduce congestion. The farce is nearly 30% in Cali HOV lanes are cheaters, riding in there with no legal standing. In any event, plain old-fashioned hybrids were kicked out of the California HOV Lanes or a decade ago. So to all of you other states that got more time, welcome. If we believe the issue is congestion in the HOV, then the solution is better enforcement - not more gas burners.

    .
     
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Note first: there is no "the I405" here. It is either "I-405" or "405". This area has not adopted the scattered practice of putting the article "the" in most major highway names.

    The total length of our I-405 is just 30.3 miles. So any trip on it 'should' be no more than 30 minutes, though 60-90 minutes wouldn't be abnormal during commutes outside of a real recession. But 4 hours? That is extremely unusual, even when traffic is halted to give a clear motorcade route for a Presidential visit. Not that such will ever happen during this Administration.

    But the Interstates around here are hobbled by design decisions made in the 1960s, before Americans knew much about designing Interstates. Both I-5 and I-405 started much smaller, and were gradually expanded, alternately and in piecemeal, to accommodate burgeoning traffic ever since.

    I-405's (east side) design is no worse than I-5's (west side) design. Seattle's Convention Center was built overhead, atop the highway, with foundations placed on the shoulders of the original I-5, narrow by today's standards. While most of the urban highways on both sides of the lake have been widened with additional lanes over past half century, that piece of I-5 is constrained to be a chokepoint. Nothing on I-405 is equally bad. Anymore.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it would be pretty simple to use fast lane transponders or the like to facilitate proper hov usage, if any in power were interested in better enforcement.
     
  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    We have super high fines for HOV cheaters, but it was so over-the-top (tens of thousands dollars for daily offenders), I do not know if they still have it quite that way...but I think of Virginia as trying to keep taxes low by having high fines in certain areas (late taxes etc). Dog poop traps I call it.

    The cops can read your EZ Pass Flex setting to see if you are being honest.
     
    #33 wjtracy, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  14. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    I checked the NJ Turnpike site and I don't see any mention of the last HOV lane left here. If it is gone, there's no great loss, you had to go through traffic to get on and off of it and if there was a crash, they opened it to all traffic.
     
  15. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

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    The "the" was supposed to be sarcasm.

    Also, I should have been more clear that the trip extended beyond just I405 (it was from north Seattle to the Olympia/tri-city area). It turned into a total of 4 hours due to a bad crash on I405 (roughly 2-2.5 hours), then hitting rush hours traffic down I5 south (1-1.5 hours).

    I agree that the actual road design is horrific on both sides of the lake, but the Seattle/I5 side does seem to manage it better with directional express lanes, variable speed limits and just way, way better and more extensive mass transit. After the light rail was first opened (and then definitely after it expanded to the UW area), it became my go-to method for getting to the downtown/sodo/south seattle/airport method.

    Also, WA does it right by keeping the HOV lanes restricted to high occupancy vehicles (with the one exception being motorcycles): High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes | WSDOT
     
  16. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Back when I lived there, leaving I 405 on WA 167 to WA 512 got you south of Tacoma with little congestion. Probably worse now.
     
    #36 JimboPalmer, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    A not insignificant number of new arrivals don't know that, while they continue the usage from where they came from.
    Over my many decades in the area, I have to say that the situation has flipped several times. Both sides experienced major congestion-aggravating growth, but the transport upgrades were not simultaneous, tending to alternate. The least aggravating commute was long a function of where the most recent major improvements happened. Though more recently the faster growth on the east side seems to have put I-405 at a more persistent disadvantage.
    The opening of the UW station provided a massive boost to light rail ridership. As I mentioned in another thread, it was opened on the first weekend of a UW Spring Break, and was already beating one-year-away ridership projections before break was over. It finally demonstrated that the system will be a success. But the build-out to most customers will still take a very long time, with the east side getting none of the initial phases.
     
    #37 fuzzy1, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  18. qmfernandez

    qmfernandez New Member

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    My $22 check to the California DMV for my HOV sticker was just cleared yesterday, and I just re-checked on their website, and the program is in place until (at least) the end of 2023. I'm expecting my sticker(s) next week.

    Just to add info, I mailed my application 41 days ago, and length of time is about what I expected from other posts on priuschat (regarding the waif time in California).

    This is my first post on prius chat. I bought a Prius Prime in July, and it's a great car, and I hate the infotainment system (I have the 11" screen). But it was heavily discounted as the 2020s were arriving, and I'm getting accustomed to the utility of having a big map and smaller close-up map available all the time. I just finished a round trip drive from Los Angeles to the Seattle area and back, and I've verified that the gas engine can sustain 800+ mile days at 75-85 mph, and that it can drive all day in heavy rain.
     
  19. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Yes, this only affects hybrids, not PHEVs or BEVs.
     
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