Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing a bill that would reward drivers of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles with tax breaks, free transponders to get through tolls and open access to HOV lanes, the Detroit News
reported.Additionally, the legislation would require at least half of the state fleet operate on alternative fuels by 2010. The bill also seeks to establish an Alternative Fuels Institute at the University of Massachusetts. The state’s lawmakers expect the bill to thrust Massachusetts into the lead of the national effort to ease gasoline dependence. The bill’s author, Sen. Bruce Tarr, told the Detroit News
that Massachusetts was currently ninth in the country in the number of hybrids on the road.The bill would also authorize the state to borrow $10 million for a program to help local districts move toward an alternative-fuel driven fleet. The Alternative Fuel Institute outlined in the bill would aim to develop new fuel technologies in cooperation with private businesses, state agencies and the school.According to the report, the cost to the state is expected to be negligible.