In survey after survey, year after year, New Yorkers discover that they spend more time commuting than anyone else in the nation. This hardly comes as a surprise to folks who spend a good portion of their life sitting in their car, waiting in traffic; fighting to get where they are going in something less than an eon.

California has long had High Occupancy Vehicle lanes which are designed just for vehicles with more than one passenger as a way of encouraging people to carpool. These HOV lanes are meant to both reduce overall fuel consumption and decrease the number of vehicles on the roads. Drivers (and passengers) who choose to carpool, or ride-share, are given various perks for doing so. Chief among those perks is the ability to drive carefree in specially marked lanes reserved just for them known as HOV lanes. These HOV lanes are free from congestion because most everybody is not in a car with more than one person. They can also receive discounts on tolls for certain roads, bridges and tunnels depending on where they are driving.

In a bold move many of states are now offering free HOV lane stickers for drivers of specific types of vehicles, regardless of how many people they have in the vehicle with them. This is another way of stimulating sale of these new gas saving hybrid-electric vehicles and encouraging drivers to switch away from their gas-guzzling machines. New York has recently given the seal of approval to drivers of the new Ford C-Max Energi, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

HOV lanes have been around for years but were most often used by those looking to “save the planet” from greenhouse gases. Now they are prized treasures for people who spend way too much time in their vehicle driving to and from work, and those who are looking to save a few bucks on a their fuel bill.