The growing interest in road usage charging

The growing interest in road usage charging

May 22, 2015 | OReGO Communications

Here in Oregon, we pride ourselves on being pioneers. Heck, we even named our professional basketball team after our trail blazing spirit! And now we are taking that same mentality toward finding a more sustainable way to fund our roads and bridges.

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is running huge deficits and Congress hasn’t been able to pass a long-term transportation bill. This has left the states scrambling for alternatives. Meanwhile, Oregon has been a leader in developing innovative solutions such as mileage-based user fees. When something’s broken, we get out there and fix it!

While Oregon is leading the charge to find a better way to keep our roads and bridges in good shape, we are by no means going at it alone. Did you know that half of all states in the country have at least studied mileage-based user fees? Oregon is also a charter member of the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium, a 12-state collective examining road usage charging as a regional policy for the western U.S.

Here’s what some other states have done in examining this transportation funding alternative:

California: In 2014, the state legislature created a task force to study mileage-based user fees and design a program for testing within the next two years.

Minnesota: From 2011-12, MnDOT tested a road usage charging system that used GPS-enabled smartphones for collecting mileage data from participants.

Washington: The state legislature created a stakeholder steering committee in 2012 that crafted a policy framework the following year. In December 2014, the state transportation commission issued a report on a concept of operations for a mileage-fee program.

Multi-state: The University of Iowa Public Policy Center completed a mileage-based charging system study that included over 2,500 participants from 12 states including New Mexico, Florida, Illinois, Idaho, and others.

Join the OReGO Interest List now to be among the first to get updates about Oregon’s new transportation funding policy that’s sweeping the nation! And if you are already signed up – thanks! Stay tuned for our volunteer enrollment survey coming out soon.

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