Colo. hybrids get free HOV |

Colo. hybrids get free HOV

DENVER, Colorado ” More than 1,100 drivers of hybrid cars can now travel alone for free in Colorado’s high-occupancy vehicle or HOV lanes.

The lanes normally require at least two passengers or a toll, paid with a transponder. The Colorado Department of Transportation is giving out drive-fee decals to a maximum of 2,000 hybrid owners under a law passed in 2003.

So far applications from 1,121 hybrid drivers have been approved.

Drivers need to have both a decal and a transponder to participate.

The HOV lanes are on Interstate 25, U.S. 36 and South Santa Fe Drive in the Denver area and on Colorado 82 near Aspen.

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CDOT says it couldn’t start the program until the federal government came up with a list of approved vehicles. That came in May 2007, but the state and federal rule-making process delayed implementation.

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