Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd District) today announced a new state program that will make the Long Island Expressway more convenient and more environmentally friendly. The new Clean Pass program, which was initiated on March 1st, will allow drivers of eligible low-emission and energy efficient vehicles to utilize the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane of the LIE regardless of the number of occupants.
This is a one year pilot program that will be used to judge the effectiveness of allowing environmentally friendly single occupancy vehicles to use the 40 mile long HOV lane. By using the HOV lane for this program, the state will save an estimated 6,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and in excess of 500,000 gallons of gasoline.
Currently, the use of the HOV lane is restricted to vehicles with two or more occupants, buses or motorcycles during the peak hours which are designated from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
According to the Department of Transportation, based on certain federal emission and fuel economy standards, the following hybrid vehicles are eligible for this program:
Toyota Prius Hybrid, model year 2001-2006
Honda Civic Hybrid, model year 2003-2006
Honda Insight Hybrid, model year 2000-2004
Clean Pass stickers are required for qualifying single occupant hybrid vehicles to use any section of the HOV lane. Registered owners of eligible automobiles can apply for this program by calling the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 1-800-697-0558. There is no fee for the four stickers necessary for the program. For more information about the program, please visit Senator Flanagan’s web site at www.senatorflanagan.com.
The Clean Pass program also requires that the New York State Department of Transportation discontinue the program if the speeds on the HOV lane are reduced by a significant amount. This mechanism makes certain that the Clean Pass program will not interfere with the original intent of encouraging car pooling on Long Island.
"This program will provide drivers an extra benefit if they switch to these fuel efficient automobiles and will help protect our region’s environment. These cars represent the future of travel in our state and our country and we should encourage their use as much as we can," stated Senator Flanagan.
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