Governor Brown is considering a bill that would increase the number of drivers riding alone on California's carpool lanes.
The state senate on Tuesday approved Assembly Bill 2013. If signed into law, it would increase the number of green Clean Air Decals distributed by the Department of Motor Vehicles by almost 30 percent — from 55,000 to 70,000. These stickers allow drivers to travel alone in lanes otherwise reserved for cars containing two or more passengers.
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, sponsor of the bill, said the idea was first proposed by car companies in his district.
"We were contacted by the auto manufacturers. I represent the South Bay, that includes the headquarters for Toyota and Honda. This is a top priority for them," Muratsuchi said.
Muratsuchi predicts the bill will be approved soon, as Governor Brown has said lowering car emissions in California is one of his administration's main goals.
State Senator Bob Huff is among the minority who voted against the increase.
"I want to kill the bill, that's the first thing," he said.
"Giving incentives to new-technology vehicles made some sense, but these things are pretty much flying off the shelves now," Huff said. "It is certainly creating a class society on the road."
This isn't the only complaint leveled at the bill. Some people worry that more green decals would threaten the value of the carpool lane for everyone.
"There is a strong growing interest in being able to have access to the HOV lanes," said John Boesel, CEO of CALSTART, an organization that promotes environmentally-friendly transportation. "But this is a very small increase in drivers across the whole state, relatively."
The full list of cars that currently qualify for decals in California is available on the Department of Motor Vehicles' website.