Buying a car to go solo in the carpool lane – Orange County Register

Q. Hello Honk: My question is about hybrids that are allowed to travel in the carpool lanes with only one person. I drive alone most of the time. Do you know someone who has a list of the autos that Gov. Brown has authorized to drive in carpool lanes with only one person?

Ray Stewart, Santa Ana

A. Honk has toyed with such a strategy himself, Ray, mostly because he prefers buying pretzels and soda and, now and then, a high-end burger instead of pouring dollar bills into the Honkmobile’s tank.

You can get green or white Clean Air Vehicle stickers, depending on the class of low- or no-emission vehicle you have. Both colors, as of now, expire on Jan. 1, 2019, but neither has a limit on how many sets of stickers will be handed out.

“It’s safe to buy a car on the list and apply for stickers; they are not limited,” said John Swanton, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board.

The federal government does have the power to step in and cut off the program, but Uncle Sam has been supportive so far.

For that list you asked about, and a bunch of other information on the program, go to and click on “Carpool Stickers” on the left side of the web page.

Remember: Car salesmen and -women are mostly fine folk, but lean on the list, not what comes from their lips, as to which cars qualify.

Q. Are there any plans to widen the southbound 55 freeway, between the I-405 and the 73? The area seems to have more and more backups from accidents on the 73 and traffic from the OC Fair property, and because of the narrowing of lanes in the area. It looks like it would be a complicated widening, requiring retaining walls and the expansion of bridges on the 405. But it would sure make that stretch of the road safer and less congested.

Doug Bennett, Orange

A. Well … no, there are no such plans.

Jocelyn Whitfield, a Caltrans spokeswoman based in Orange County, said there is no current proposal for widening that stretch, but she added there are several widening proposals not too far from there.

Cross your fingers, Doug, and maybe those projects will help with the stretch you are talking about.

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