A measure to allow more vehicles in California's HOV lanes is on the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. If signed, the new law will increase the number of carpool permits for hybrid vehicles from 75,000 up to 85,000. The permit allows drivers to use the diamond lanes even when driving alone. The bill also extends the use of the HOV lanes by hybrids with permits to 2011. Current law kills the option in 2008.

Even as the bill awaits the governor's signature, the debate rages on. Many motorists who carpool are unhappy with the additional vehicles in the HOV lanes. A Caltrans study reports mixed results with the program. Congestion increased on some lanes but overall traffic flow improved.

However, opponents say that when the HOV lanes slow down, motorists are discouraged from carpooling and they don't want any added congestion.

[Source: InsideBayArea.com]

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