Blumenfield’s bill, passed yesterday, would extend sunset of HOV lane access for low and zero emission vehicles
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today urged California Governor Jerry Brown to sign legislation that would extend critical consumer incentives for low and zero emission vehicles.
AB 266, authored by Blumenfield and successfully presented by Assemblymember Richard Bloom following Blumenfield’s departure from the Assembly, passed the Legislature by overwhelming margins yesterday. This bill works in concert with Senate Bill 286 (Yee) to extend California’s Clean Air Vehicle Sticker program, which allows qualifying vehicles access to High Occupancy (HOV) lanes, until 2019.
Since 1999, access to highway carpool lanes for single occupant drivers has been an incentive to promote the purchase of cleaner vehicles. Absent legislative action, the sticker program would end in 2015.
“This bill is a win-win for California,” said Blumenfield. “By creating a tangible benefit for drivers in clean emission vehicles we are benefitting both our environment as well as California’s consumers. It’s crucial that we use every tool in our arsenal to combat global warming and that means getting more of these cars on the road.”
There are two kinds of stickers in the Clean Air Vehicle Sticker Program. White clean air vehicle stickers are available for certified zero emission vehicles such as electric, hydrogen fuel cell, or compressed natural gas vehicles. Green clean air vehicle stickers are available for plug-in hybrid cars. Yellow clean air stickers had previously been available for traditional hybrids in a program that ended on July 1, 2011. A list of vehicles eligible for these stickers is available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm.
Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and smog. Clean cars, such as plug-in hybrids and compressed natural gas cars, emit 34% fewer global warming gasses and 75% less smog. Zero-emission vehicles include electric and hydrogen-powered cars.
AB 266 is the last in a series of bills authored by Blumenfield to bolster the market for cleaner vehicles. Blumenfield has previously authored legislation to give clean and zero-emission car drivers free access to carpool lanes that are converted to toll roads, to make financing chargers for these vehicles easier, to increase the number of these vehicles in the State’s fleet and legislation that will increase the number of charging stations throughout the state.