Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two bills to allow solo drivers of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and those running on alternative fuels like compressed natural gas to use carpool stickers until 2019.

The current program would have expired in 2015. Currently 18,270 green decals and 32,764 stickers have been issued.

"I'm a big fan of electric cars, so this is very good news," said Joe Faber, who commutes from Lafayette to Mountain View in an all-electric Nissan Leaf and figures his carpool stickers have cut his commute by 30 to 45 minutes each way.

The stickers allow a motorist to drive solo in state diamond lanes and pay a lower toll to cross bridges in the Bay Area. That fee is $2.50, compared to $5 or $6 for non-carpoolers.

Those with stickers need to have a FasTrak transponder when crossing a state bridge but do not need a transponder when using a carpool lane on state highways.

The governor also signed bills to make electric-vehicle charging stations more accessible to all drivers, develop new rules to include charging stations in apartment buildings and nonresidential structures, and provide $30 million in incentives for hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses.

Contact Gary Richards at 408-920-5335.



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