A good friend bought a hybrid car specifically to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to get to work in Northern Virginia. If you don’t live in Northern Virginia (or other high population density area) you probably don’t understand the various schemes proffered by government to solve the problems created by the government in Washington, DC.
As with most government schemes they have failed or been marginally effective. Buses, trains, van pools and the like are unpopular and frequently expensive alternatives to Americans driving their personal car to work. Regional governments are saddled with huge expenses to move people around with future revenue mortgaged by things like Metro. Meanwhile nothing can stem the growth of government and thus the increase in the number of people that need to get into Washington DC. It is a recipe for disaster.
In the middle of the furball of people trying to move through gridlock to get into Washington DC some watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) comes up with a plan to allow single riders in hybrid vehicles unfettered access to HOV lanes. That plan addressed a non-existent problem (Global Warming) by undermining the purpose of HOV lanes (taking cars off the road) by returning to one-person per vehicle operations.
My friend bought his hybrid car in good faith in a faithless government. The program isn’t successful and now the government is making noise about abandoning these good people by changing the rules about who can utilize the HOV lanes. The newest scheme is HOT lanes where tolls are charged with rates dependent on the volume of vehicles on the road. Hybrids need not apply. Nothing will get between a government and potential revenue, even a promise made or implied to hybrid purchasers.
When I think about hybrid drivers and my government it reminds me of the movie “Animal House.” I am specifically speaking of the scene where the frat boys take the wrecked car that Flounder had borrowed from his older brother and turn it into the “Death-mobile” float. You remember when Eric (Rush Chairman) Stratton played by Tim Matheson says to Kent (Flounder) Dorfman played by Stephen Furst “You F***ed up. You trusted us.”
That’s all I can tell my friend now. You f***ed up, you trusted them.