Virtue may be its own reward, but incentives don’t hurt. In California in 2004, when the country’s first measure restricting vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions became law, 75,000 owners of the gas-stingiest hybrid cars were assured access to carpool lanes.
Now the $8 yellow decal that served as a get-out-of-traffic-free card is about to become meaningless: the privilege, originally set to expire in 2008, was legislatively extended twice, and now ends July 1.
Matthew Kahn, an economics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied hybrid owners, said they were “a mixture of people wanting to signal their virtuousness and people wanting to get to work quickly.”
To read the full article by Felicity Barringer click here.