One perk of driving a hybrid vehicle in the city of Los Angeles--free parking--could come to an end as soon as March, under recent action taken by the city council's Transportation Committee. Almost a year ago, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance allowing drivers with a state Clean Air Vehicle decal on their vehicle to park at city meters at no cost. Less than a week after that approval, however, the council moved to reconsider the issue in light of the city's financial problems.
The Transportation Committee recommended that free parking for a driver with a Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight or Ford Escape Hybrid - a privilege in place for four years--be eliminated as of March 1. Councilman Bill Rosendahl called the money that would be collected "gold in the gutter." The issue was forwarded to the full council, with a request that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation advertise the change in the parking rules.