It sounds like an urban myth, but isn't. Hybrid cars can now be driven in carpool lanes regardless of the number of passengers. There is a great editorial in the San Jose Mercury News on the response. That in itself makes the hybrid proposition quite nice - except, of course, when the carpool lanes become clogged with solo Prius drivers. At dinner tonight, someone suggested that perhaps one additional proposition would be to force SUV owners off the carpool lanes, regardless of number of passengers.
This (from the editorial) is interesting:
California's law wisely puts some limits in place from the get-go. Only the highest-mileage hybrids are eligible, the ones that get 45 miles per gallon or more. They are the Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Honda Insight.
A maximum of 75,000 hybrids can obtain the carpool-lane pass. The state Department of Transportation can ban hybrids from carpool lanes that get too congested.