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UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

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  • UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

    UDOT has reversed course. They are now handing out the new "Clean Air" stickers to people with pre-2003 dedicated CNG vehicles (and a few others). If you have the old C-plate (they discontinued them when they changed the rules, July 1, 2011) AND your vehicle is listed on the new list, AND you were previously denied the privilege of driving in the Express Lane in Utah, UDOT will be mailing you a sticker.

    Cool eh?

    For those of you that did not have C-plates before, but find your car is on the list, you can apply for the Express Lane sticker on-line or by calling UDOT. Google "Utah Express Lane Sticker" or use this link:

    http://www.udot.utah.gov/main/f?p=10...T,V:2280,55873

    That's it. You don't need to read further unless you want to know the back story:

    After a long struggle, in which Governor Gary Herbert and Senator Van Tassell (Chair of Utah's Transportation Committee) played a huge role, UDOT adopted a portion of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) list as a supplement to the draft-EPA list of conforming vehicles. Back in July, I suggested that arbitrarily cutting off any 100% CNG vehicle just because it was not on a "draft" list was senseless.

    A few of the good people at UDOT listened and had sympathy. I am thankful for their sense of reason. They tried to take it to management. But after months of trying, it was clearly not getting traction. It was the proverbial "dead letter." In September, having waited patiently, talked to them occasionally and having exercised as much logic and power of persuasion as I could muster (it is important to let them try to make ti right before going to guns), I ratcheted the fight up a notch and contacted an old friend (and state Senator), Van Tassell. He agreed that the UDOT decision didn't pass the smell test. He wanted to help. Then the planets aligned, the heavens parted and and out of the blue, another old friend called and asked if I would consider supporting Governor Herbert's bid for re-election. He asked if I had any concerns I'd like to discuss with him. I said, "As a matter of fact..." and he put him on the phone. The Gov agreed that what I suggested made way too much sense. He did not like the idea that a few good people trying to do the right thing were losing a perk promised by Utah if the switched to clean, local fuels like CNG just because the EPA wasn't doing its job. He asked me to write a letter accurately briefing him on the situation so he could weigh in at UDOT.

    UDOT got a copy of that letter. To their credit, they began asking the right questions, talked with the right federal agencies, got legal assurances, protected funding and applied common sense and found a way to make the right thing happen.

    And honestly, we MUST give them credit. They were creative. UDOT is not a typical, sick bureaucracy. Their people have not been beaten into 100% senseless submission to the machine. They have good folks working there. Without their help we would not have gotten this perk back. (But, they are still a large organization and sometimes you get buried unless you get help.) They could have stonewalled. They could have dug in and fought. But they did not. And that's pretty cool. Principle thanks for asking the right questions and doing the legwork goes to Linda Toy Hull, UDOT's legislative liaison.

    She wears a white hat. I don't think she liked me all that well by the time we were done. But she did a fine job of helping the change happen. And she deserves thanks.

    In a nutshell, having been unable to get the EPA to give them a definitive list of qualifying vehicles, and seeing that the CARB list was drawn to a tighter standard than the EPA's list, they asked the National Highway Transportation Board if there was any objection to Utah using the CARB list as a surrogate on pre-03 vehicles (pending EPA action). Seeing as California was doing it, and most importantly, having no plans of cutting their funding, they had no objection.

    Thus, a small group of older dedicated clean-air vehicles get a small but valuable perk back.

    If you read this far, please have the grace to send a note to Governor Gary Herbert thanking him for helping get you back into the Express Lane. Thank him for being fair. We older CNG vehicle owners are a tiny minority within a minority. Without him standing there looking over our shoulder, you can be dead sure, it wouldn't have happened. Write Van Tassell too. He probably doesn't get thanked much.

    And if any of you crazy-fool haters decide to "dis" the Gov because your bi-fuel or hybrid isn't on the list, have mercy. Consider that over 82,000 Californians got kicked out of their HOV lanes as of July 1st. States can do this. The solution we worked out may fall short of perfection, but it is a step in the right direction. Wouldn't you like to be thanked for doing something right? Then, "do unto others."

    Write the man, say thanks and tell him he has your vote.
    Last edited by John Mitton; 11-10-2011, 05:14 PM.

  • #2
    Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

    Well done, Art
    I wrote my thank-you to the Governor. Here is the link for others who would like to do so:
    http://www.utah.gov/governor/contact/index.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

      Great job, Art! I'm one of the affected and tried to shake the EPA and UDOT trees myself to no avail. Allowing a 2003 GX but not a 2000 GX seems pretty silly, so it's great that you were able to convince the relevant parties to use a little common sense to make things a little more fair. Thanks for your efforts!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

        I have to say thank you as well. I have a 2001 Camry and I tried several times to get a C Plate as well as the HOV sticker. I was told no on all accounts as well claiming the EPA was the gold standard blah blah blah. So I went ahead and filled out the online application today and recieved and email this afternoon that my C sticker was in the mail. Thanks for all your work on this Art.
        Last edited by CptPalmer; 11-03-2011, 04:53 AM.
        Michael Williams
        2001 Toyota Camry

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

          Yes, thank you! I emailed the Governor just now. My 03' dedicated F-150 is back in the HOV

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

            Where can you find the list of what is now included?

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            • #7
              Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

              UT now follows the California list:
              http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                Originally posted by John Mitton View Post
                UT now follows the California list
                I thought that Utah would only follow the list for vehicles older than model-year 2003. Am I mistaken?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                  If I understand artbros top post correctly, the California list is what is now being used for all m

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                  • #10
                    Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                    FYI: I didn't receive the decal automatically, so I emailed Pam Salazar at UDOT and she indicated that I was already on the list to receive a decal, but that they ran out of decals and had to order more, and that it would be about a 4-week wait. So, if you think you should be receiving one, be patient.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                      Ok so my application was denied for my 03' dedicated F150. I'm a little confused.

                      Pam Salazar at UDOT told me over the phone my 03' was not on the list of approved vehicle. But here in this above posted link http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm of california vehicles its clearly listed. If Utah has adopted the california list and this is the california list, why oh why do I not pass?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                        I would look under the hood and make sure the emissions label has the Engine Family Number which matches the California list. If so, take a photo of the sticker and send it to her along with a print out of the list with a highlight or circle around the number.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                          Thanks to the info in this thread I was able to apply and get acceptance on the same day for my 2000 Ford Crown Victoria.

                          Unfortunately they are out of the RFID window stickers and I have to wait until the end of January to get mine. :-(
                          SingerGuy
                          Orem, UT
                          2003 Ford F-150 7700 Dedicated
                          2003 Chevrolet Express G3500 Bi-fuel

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                            So my 2000Crown Victoria was totaled in an accident and I bought a 2003 Ford F-150 that is on the CARB list. I was denied a sticker. When I asked for clarification on the denial, here is what Pam Salazar wrote back to me:

                            Sorry for the delay in getting back with you. Utah uses the EPA list for vehicles model year 2003 or newer and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) list for vehicles older than 2003. Your Crown Victoria qualifies because it is on the CARB list. Your truck does not qualify because it isn't on the EPA list. Each state has their own guidelines so other than this portion of the CARB list I mentioned, we do not follow California's standard.
                            So there it is. I paid $5,500 for a truck based on my understanding that it would qualify for the carpool lane and because I really wanted a truck. Now I am facing a choice between giving up on the carpool lane or giving up on owning a truck. I commute from Orem to Murray so having that express lane access makes a huge difference in my commute times on some days.

                            I am not Happy (or any of the other dwarfs for that matter).
                            SingerGuy
                            Orem, UT
                            2003 Ford F-150 7700 Dedicated
                            2003 Chevrolet Express G3500 Bi-fuel

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: UDOT lets older CNG vehicles back into HOV Express Lane

                              Is it dedicated CNG? If so, does the emission sticker include "ILEV" ?
                              If so, you can probably get it approved. Send me a PM and I will call you to discuss and we can later post here how it all turned out.

                              Comment

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