It struck me while stuck in rush hour traffic tonight that California is smart about some things. While we have HOV lanes out here, we use them for entirely the wrong things. California realized that they can do nasty things like queue non-HOV passengers, and just give a separate flyover ramp for hybrids and carpools. The genius is this: Most states that provide benefits for hybrid owners and carpoolers do so only through financial incentives — reduces taxes, awards, and the like. California does something far cooler: they provide a reward of time back to the people that satisfy these conditions, by letting people get home/to work sooner, and time is the greatest luxury out there.