I don’t know why, but it seems that everyday I come across the Bay Bridge with my carpool group, there is some doofus in front of us using the carpool lane who, for some reason, stops at the toll gate and either sits there dumbfounded for a bit or tries to pay.
They don’t seem to get that the Free and $0.00 signs that appear, along with the fact there is no toll taker in the booth mean that the damned thing is free. I’m not sure if these are tourists or just people who don’t get this stuff or what, since I never saw this happen when I was coming from the East Bay into SF, as people understood there was no toll in that lane and that they could blaze on through.
Of course, the fun one is when people don’t have enough people in the car to be in that lane and they get nabbed by the CHP. This was really funny last week when there was a CHP officer who didn’t even bother being in his car, as he stood out in the middle of the two carpool lanes and flagged people down to pull over who only had two or less in their vehicle. Ballsy, very ballsy.
So, let’s just summarize real quick in how the whole carpool thing works. During certain hours which are notated along the side of the carpool lane, you can use that lane and bypass traffic if you ahve three or more people in your vehicle. If you have vehicle that was built with only two seats (pickup or sports car let’s say) then you only need to have those two seats occupied. If you’re on a motorcycle, you can also use the carpool lane. When you get to the tool booth (and this is the really hard part) you part no toll at the gate. Yes, pretty amazing, but hey, that’s just the way it works and yes, there are many, many, many signs along the way to let you know all about this.
Oh, and don’t try to play dumb with the cop if you go through and get caught. That’s only going to make them mad and give you every ticket they can, since they hear that lame excuse everyday.