Bay Area Hybrid Vehicles Owners Bid Farewell To Carpool Lane Perk

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A California 'clean air vehicle' sticker is seen on the front bumper of a Toyota Prius on May 6, 2011 in San Rafael. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A California ‘clean air vehicle’ sticker is seen on the front bumper of a Toyota Prius on May 6, 2011 in San Rafael. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – They have known for a while that the day would come, but it was still a tough pill for Prius drivers to swallow over the weekend, as they ceremoniously engaged in some sticker-scraping from their rear bumpers at a San Jose “Prius Party.”

They were removing the telltale yellow clean air vehicle tags that have allowed them and the owners of other hybrid cars to drive in local carpool lanes without the required minimum number of passengers in the car.

It was a carpool lane privilege that actually covered all California roadways for the past 6 years, and an estimated 85,000 drivers took advantage of the perk.

That carpool lane privilege was set to expire July 1.

Sunday’s event was hosted by local newspaper columnist “Mr. Roadshow,” who described himself as a “sad” Prius owner, lamenting the loss of the eco-friendly car perk.

An estimated several hundred people attended the event, one of them being Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak. He is proud owner of 9 Priuses and talked fondly about being able to use the carpool lane so freely.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

For some Prius owners, the biggest challenge at the party was actually figuring out how to remove the sticker without causing any damage to their car’s paint job. In addition to trying your standard supermarket adhesive removals, some went so far as to try applying peanut butter to their bumpers in an effort to ease the stickers off.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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