Welcome to the California Road Charge Pilot Press Room!
Here you can read up on news coverage from California and around the country regarding the pilot and road charging, as well as program updates from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
Interested in staying informed about the pilot program? Sign up for the Interest List!
California Road Charge Pilot Newsletters
Latest Road Charge News
Just Miles petitions the UK Government to make road tax fairer, better for roads and better for the environment
In the lead-up to the introduction of new car tax regulations on April 1st, start-up car insurance firm Just Miles has launched an online petition urging the UK Transport Secretary to reconsider the way Vehicle Excise Duty is calculated and introduce a pay-per-mile system.
James Blackham, PRWeb UK: March 24, 2017
State shares more on ‘pay-per-mile’ pilot program
Starting this fall, the state of Washington will test a “pay by mile” pilot program as an alternative to the gas tax. On Tuesday, they shared more on how the program would work.
Liza Javier and Jenna Hanchard, KING: March 21, 2017
Fuel Tax Stopgap
Even if Montana lawmakers raise the state’s fuel tax to fund infrastructure, there’s little doubt they will be staring at depleted transportation revenues in the near future. Sure, they could plug the funding shortfall from other parts of the budget. Then plug it again, and again.
Kellyn Brown, Flathead Beacon: March 9, 2017
California bill aims to pay for infrastructure through gas tax, fees
California’s Senate Bill 1, which is aimed at improving the state’s transportation infrastructure, easily cleared the state Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee by a 5-1 vote Wednesday. If passed, SB1 would generate an estimated $6 billion annually for the state’s roads, bridges and transit systems.
Max Resnik, KCRA 3: March 8, 2017
How pilot program results could affect the way you drive
Thousands of California drivers have been collecting data that could help state legislators decide whether or not to change the way drivers are taxed at the wheel.
Kristen Simoes, KCRA 3: March 3, 2017
PD Editorial: California moves toward filling its highway sinkhole
California’s deferred maintenance backlog for streets and highways had already topped $135 billion before fierce winter storms flooded roads and undermined bridges, adding $600 million to the toll. “The transportation system is in bad shape,” Will Kempton, a retired Caltrans director, told the Los Angeles Times recently. “We have just underinvested in our transportation infrastructure for decades, and it’s coming home to roost. Particularly after the recent storms, our roads are in very, very bad shape.”
The Editorial Board, The Press Democrat: March 1, 2017
EROAD ELD Commercially Available
EROAD, a global technology provider of compliance, operational and road use and fuel tax management solutions for the transportation industry, today announced at the 2017 TMC Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition the commercial availability of its Electronic Logging Device (ELD).
American Journal of Transportation: February 27, 2017
Record Number Of Miles Driven In U.S. Last Year
Americans are driving more than ever before, according to new data released today by the Federal Highway Administration. Drivers in cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs put a record 3.22 trillion miles on the nation’s roads last year, up 2.8 percent from 3.1 trillion miles in 2015.
David Schaper, National Public Radio: February 21, 2017
The 2017-18 Budget: Transportation Funding Package
California has a large and complex network of transportation systems that currently face several challenges. These challenges include (1) aging highways, (2) aging local roads and transit systems, (3) increased traffic congestion, (4) increased demand for transportation alternatives, and (5) increased goods movement.
California Legislative Anayst’s Office, LAO: February 17, 2017
Fee on fuel-efficient vehicles back on the table
New Hampshire motorists whose vehicles get more than 50 mpg could soon face a new $77 annual fee. And those who drive all-electric cars could have to pay $123 each year. Lawmakers are again seeking to impose a fee on fuel-efficient vehicles as a way to make up for declining gas tax revenue that funds state road and bridge upkeep.
Allie Morris, Concord Monitor: February 14, 2017
State must get rolling on transportation bills
The Legislature urgently needs to pass a transportation funding package in 2017 to address the billions in backlogged maintenance needs that have led to potholes, deteriorating roads, bridges and transit systems across our region and the state. The longer we wait to fix the small problems, the bigger and more expensive they become.
Michael Cunningham, San Francisco Chronicle: February 12, 2017
Make Infrastructure Pay for Itself
One of Donald Trump’s key campaign promises, emphasized in his victory speech, was increased infrastructure spending. It’s clear that we need upgrades and better maintenance of our roads, highways, bridges, airports and water and sewer systems. But is simply spending more the answer?
Tracy C. Miller, U.S. News: January 30, 2017
Franzen: What readers think of the roads issue
A quick summary of the problem: The state faces a $1 billion gap over the next two years between expected revenue and planned projects. Beyond that, current revenue sources such as the gas tax and registration fees can no longer (as vehicles use less gasoline) meet the challenge of maintaining roads and bridges, rebuilding interchanges, expanding roads, building new ones and providing transit.
Ernst-Ulrich Frazen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: January 29, 2017
Searching For Future Funding, CDOT Is Taking Pay-Per-Mile For A Test Drive
The Colorado Department of Transportation has a problem – it’s running out of money to pay for roads.
Most of the money CDOT uses on projects and repairs comes from the gas tax, which doesn’t generate revenue like it used to. So the department is exploring creative new ways to tap into drivers’ pockets, including a recently-launched pilot that charges motorists by the mile.
Vic Vela, Colorado Public Radio: January 26, 2017
Road-usage charges may replace gas tax as WSTC prepares to launch test program
Washington state drivers could be paying by the mile rather than by the gallon if a new program by the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) becomes standard for motorists. Starting this fall, a one year pilot program begins, experimenting with fees based on distance traveled rather than the amount of gas purchased. The live portion of the program includes up to 2,000 volunteer state motorists who will test one of four payment systems and then vote on a preferred method.
Tim Gruver, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter: January 24, 2017
Those who use California roads should pay to fix them
When California was building what became a world-class network of freeways, highways and local roads after World War II, it relied on a simple financial tool called “user pays.” Personal and commercial users of roadways paid for their construction and maintenance through fuel taxes, motor vehicle fees, bridge tolls and weight fees on trucks. The system enjoyed wide public support because of its self-evident fairness, although there were occasional squabbles over how the money was being spent. It broke down in the 1970s as those on the left came to see highways as an environmental and social evil and those on the right rigidly opposed new taxes of any kind.
Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee: January 17, 2017
As systems erode, user fees are the key to infrastructure reform
The nation’s infrastructure is being widely discussed this week, with incoming Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s confirmation hearing. But President-elect Trump’s infrastructure plan, which Ms. Chao and other officials will be tasked with implementing, is nothing particularly groundbreaking. Instead, it’s merely a new way of borrowing money, while offering no clear way to repay that money or to insure that it is spent on the most important projects.
Randal O’Toole, The Hill: January 12, 2017
Editorial: How to do away with the state’s gas tax
Want to help put an end to the state’s gasoline tax, the second highest in the nation? Yes, there’s a catch. You’d be helping the state Transportation Commission test a replacement for the gas tax: a road usage charge that would levy a fee for every mile you drive.
The Herald Editorial Board, HeraldNet: January 4, 2017
State undertakes pilot study to replace gas tax with a ‘road user charge’
The Washington State Transportation Commission is undertaking a pilot study on the feasibility of replacing the gas tax with a per-mile “road user charge.” The commission is hoping to enlist 2,000 drivers from different parts of the state, including Eastern Washington, to experiment with the user charge idea.
Mike Prager, The Spokesman-Review: December 26, 2016
Caltrans road charge pilot app helps drivers, raises privacy concerns
I’ve been testing out some new car technology as part of a Caltrans pilot program that could change the way Californians pay for street repairs. The gas tax that we pay at the pumps hasn’t been generating enough revenue, so the state is piloting a new approach to charge drivers by the mile.
Megan McCarty, Southern California Public Radio: December 16, 2016
You Could Be Charged For Each Mile You Drive
Washington state is getting closer to charging people for how much they drive, rather than how much gasoline they burn. The state will begin a pilot program of a pay-by-mile system next fall and soon will start recruiting volunteers to participate in the 12-month project.
Melissa Santos, The Olympian: December 11, 2016
You Could Be Charged For Each Mile You Drive
Charging drivers per-mile to use state roads will be a topic at a public meeting next week. The State Transportation Commission’s meeting in Olympia on December 13 will focus on tolling, but in addition, the commission will review a plan for a road usage charge pilot project.
KXRO radio: December 10, 2016
Road usage charge pilot project a topic for Transportation Commission meeting, Dec. 13-14
Tolling topics will be a focus of the State Transportation Commission’s meeting next week in Olympia. In addition, the commission will review an implementation plan for a road usage charge pilot project.
San Juan Islander: December 7, 2016
Australian government commits to road charging ‘study’ in response to infrastructure recommendations
The Australian government is to commission a study into the “potential benefits and impacts” of different road charging models, including the potential introduction of a ‘user pays’ model for car and van drivers, it has announced.
Out Law: November 29, 2016
CDOT to test taxing drivers by the mile instead of at the pump
Putting more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road is universally seen as a good thing, but those gas-sipping hybrids and electric cars crisscrossing Colorado are contributing less and less in terms of the gas tax revenues that pay for badly-needed road and bridge repairs across the state.
The Denver Post, John Aguilar: November 11, 2016
Caltrans Looks At Ditching Gas Tax For Mileage Tax
The California Department of Transportation is looking at getting rid of the state gas tax. Instead, drivers would pay a fee on the number of miles they drive on the road. “It would be a big change for drivers,” said Vanessa Wiseman, a spokesperson for Caltrans. “Folks need to understand that we’re just studying it right now and seeing if it is going to be an option.”
CBS Sacramento, Macy Jenkins: November 4, 2016
Caltrans takes the long view of transport
As director of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) since mid-2012, many would say that Malcolm Dougherty has one of the best jobs in transportation. Caltrans is one of the most progressive and innovative transport authorities, implementing policies to encourage cycling, piloting new traffic schemes and ITS systems.
ITS International: October 22, 2016
California pilots road charge as alternative to fuel tax
As the California Road Charge Pilot Program enters its fourth month, participant feedback indicates that 65 per cent of 3,191 respondents surveyed are satisfied with the program as a whole.
ITS International: October 17, 2016
The Facts About Transportation Funding and Why We Need More Revenue
Efforts at converting California vehicles to sustainable fuel sources are successful in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing fuel efficiency.However, one consequence of reduced fuel consumption and an increase in the number of electric vehicles is lower long-term fuel excise tax revenues.
Jeffrey Spencer, Fox & Hounds: October 11, 2016
As Gas Tax Revenues Dwindle, Calif. Is Trying Out Other Ways To Pay For Roads
Thousands of drivers are taking part in a statewide experiment to see how California might replace it’s gas tax. As more vehicles hit the highways without ever buying fuel, Capital Public Radio’s Daniel Potter reports the state is looking for a better way to pay for roads.
Daniel Potter, KVCR Radio: October 4, 2016
Vehicle mileage tax is best option for long-term highway funding
A study that forecasts state and federal fuel tax revenues based on different fuel taxation policies found adoption of a vehicle mileage tax would best meet highway construction needs in the long run.
Press Release, Indiana University: September 26, 2016
What Can a Mileage Tax Tell Us That a Gas Tax Can’t?
Can taxes on driving mileage replace gas taxes as a source of transportation funds? Right now the state of Oregon is testing a mileage tax with an opt-in pilot program called “OreGo.” Participants install a device that tracks their driving and pay 1.5 cents per mile, which is assessed from a special account.
Angie Schmitt, Streetsblog Network: September 21, 2016
Road Charge Pilot Program Update
Most state funding for highways and roads in California comes from excise taxes on gasoline. Essentially, the gas excise tax serves as a proxy charge for road usage, as taxes paid roughly correspond with miles driven. However, over time changes in the type and fuel efficiency of vehicles have eroded the relationship between fuel taxes and road usage.
Paul Jacobs, Legislative Analyst’s Office: September 15, 2016
Road user charging belongs on the political agenda as the best answer for congestion management
Road user charging is probably the best idea we have to reduce congestion and to enable better decisions on road investment. Average travel speeds in our cities are decreasing, and congestion is only likely to worsen as our population continues to grow.
Marion Terrill and Owain Emslie, The Conversation: September 11, 2016
Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile
Better mileage means less gas tax to build roads. California and others are checking out a new approach that Oregon’s been piloting. States’ gas tax revenue is slumping. California and other states are looking to an innovative approach pioneered by Oregon: pay by the mile.
Liam Moriarty, Marketplace: September 6, 2016
Pay by the mile or at the pump? A gas tax experiment
California faces a $59 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on roads and bridges. Drivers in the state pay some of the highest gas taxes in the country but they haven’t kept pace with rising construction costs. And increasing fuel efficiency means revenues will fall even more in the future.
Meghan McCarty, Southern California Public Radio: September 5, 2016
DeSaulnier’s per mile driving fee idea receives $750,000 in federal funding for pilot program
Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced that $750,000 in federal funds will be awarded to the California Department of Transportation under the Federal Highway Administration’s Surface Transportation System Funding Alternative Program (STSFA).
Press Release, Antioch Herald: August 31, 2016
Caltrans, Consortium Funded to Study Per-Mile Road Fees
Caltrans and the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium (RUC West) have been awarded $750,000 and $1.5 million, respectively, through the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives grant program within the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
Press Release, SCV News: August 30, 2016
Trend toward fuel-efficient vehicles leads to financial troubles for the state
The state is in need of more money for road repairs and could one day tax drivers based on how far they go instead of how much gas they buy. The care of Hawaii’s roads is made possible in large part by a tax we pay every time we fill up our cars.
Alexander Zannes, KHON 2: August 26, 2016
Poor state of roads, bridges costs us dearly
California’s deficient system of roads and bridges has cost Californians $53.6 billion in additional vehicle operating costs, traffic-related delays and car crashes, according to a recent report by national transportation group TRIP.
Editorial, San Gabriel Valley Tribune: August 24, 2016
California’s crumbling roads won’t fix themselves. Neither, it seems, will state lawmakers
Gov. Jerry Brown called a special legislative session last year to speed passage of a bill to repair California’s crumbling roads. The politicians have failed miserably.
George Skelton, Los Angeles Times: August 22, 2016
Is Privacy Overrated as a Concern for Mileage Fees?
‘Big Brother’ has long been voiced as a criticism of charging motorists by the mile driven, but in the ongoing Oregon road usage charge program, more than 75 percent of volunteer enrollees opted for a recording technology with GPS.
Irvin Dawid, Planetizen: August 19, 2016
Poorly maintained roads cost Southern California drivers $2,800 a year
Driving on “deficient roads” costs motorists in California more than $53 billion a year, and those in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area are shelling out on average $2,800 annually as a result, according to a new report from a transportation research group.
Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News: August 17, 2016
OReGO marks one-year anniversary as Oregon’s road usage charge pilot
The Oregon Road Usage Charge Program, known as OReGO, recently hit its one-year anniversary with 1,025 active vehicles participating in the program, just 20 percent of the limit the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) set last year.
Chris Hill, Equipment World: August 17, 2016
Road Charge Pilot Program: Data Points and Changing Behavior
It’s been 27 days since my last post, and in that time, I’ve done a lot of driving. Not only did I take a trip up to Chico (my first long drive since starting the pilot program), but due to kids and soccer and a relatively unsystematic approach to the summer months, there have been multiple extra trips around town.
Kelly Garman, ACEC California Blog: August 15, 2016
Mileage based charging offers secure future for funding
Infrastructure is the most neglected yet the most critical engine of our society, and our continued indifference could lead to a dystopian future. Our roads, bridges and highways have been largely passed by in the digital age—marginalised in an era when funding is limited and stewardship of physical assets has given way to our preoccupation with technological innovation and data—the stuff of the virtual realm.
Matthew Click, ITS International: July/August 2016
Which costs more for drivers — per-mile charge or gas tax?
California currently uses gas taxes collected at the pump to pay for road repairs, but as vehicles become more fuel efficient, tax revenues haven’t kept pace with the cost of construction. The state now finds itself in a $59 billion funding hole.
Meghan McCarty, Southern California Public Radio: August 5, 2016
The Ride: Road charge vs. gas tax
Anyone who’s wrecked a tire in a pothole knows California’s infrastructure is in dire shape. The average Californian spends $762 each year to repair damage caused by poorly maintained roads, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.
Susan Carpenter, Southern California Public Radio: August 4, 2016
Testing a better way to pay for roads
This month California launched a new “Road Charge Pilot Program” to test replacing the gas tax that drivers pay at the pump with a fee based on the number of miles they drive.It’s not the first transportation funding experiment of its kind. Other states including Oregon, Washington and Minnesota have already conducted similar tests in recent years, but it is important.
Adrian Moore, The Orange County Register: July 31, 2016
Pay-by-the-mile fees could be coming for Arizona drivers
Valley drivers may some day be paying by the mile for driving on public streets, roads, highways and freeways. With mileage-based user fees in active pilot programs in several western states and a half dozen others across the country, Arizona Department of Transportation officials are keeping a close eye to see if such fees could work here.
Eric Jay Toll, Phoenix Business Journal: July 26, 2016
“Talking Transportation” – What’s the Fight over a Vehicle Miles Tax?
Back in April 2015 I wrote about the challenge we face to pay for Gov. Malloy’s $100 billion transportation plan. And I expressed sympathy for his bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel tasked with coming up with funding alternatives, the Transportation Finance Panel.
Jim Cameron, Greenwich Free Press: July 20, 2016
Road Charge Pilot Program: It Works!
It’s official! As your friendly Road Charge Pilot Program participant blogger, I am finally connected and being tracked! It’s been a long road to this point, as you can read here, but Azuga took notice and went above and beyond to fix the problem for me.
Kelly Garman, ACEC California Blog: July 19, 2016
California Tests Pay-Per-Mile In Effort To Curb $5.7B Gas Tax Shortfall
Antonetta Wohl, a resident of California’s Antelope Valley northeast of Los Angeles, drives a 2013 Nissan Altima “that gets incredible mileage.” She says she signed up as a volunteer for the California Road Charge Pilot program because she wants to be sure that as many facts as possible are taken into consideration for all commuters.
Maggie Avants, Mill Valley Patch: July 16, 2016
California Testing Pay-By-Mile Fee For Drivers
Car owners across California are carefully tracking how far they drive this month as part of a pilot study measuring how the state could eventually phase out its tax on gasoline. The gas tax helps fund state road repairs, but it hasn’t risen since 1994. A vote by California’s tax board in February to reduce the gas tax by 2.2 cents went into effect July 1.
Maureen Cavanaugh and Michael Lipkin, KPBS (radio): July 13, 2016
California launches test of per-mile road use fee for drivers
For decades, consultant Steve Schnaidt of Sacramento was one of the state Capitol’s go-to experts on transportation financing.Through those years, there was one constant, he says: “When I came in and when I went out, it was the same problem – we were short of money.”
Tony Bizjak, The Sacramento Bee: July 10, 2016
Caltrans Launches Pilot Program to Study State Mileage Tax for Road Maintenance
A Caltrans pilot program is underway to study a mileage tax for California drivers instead of the current gas tax to pay for road maintenance. The gas tax drivers pay at the pump has been working well for decades. The problem going forward is that it’s producing less and less revenue as more and more people drive electric or fuel-efficient cars.
Katie Marzullo, ABC 7 News: July 7, 2016
Caltrans Testing Pay-by-Mile Highway Funding
Caltrans has officially launched California’s new pay-by-mile Road Charge Pilot Program, where selected volunteer participants will help the state gain insight into an innovative way to finance California’s transportation infrastructure.
Press Release, SCVNews.com: July 5, 2016
Taxing road use instead of gas in a new pilot program
As it works now, California drivers pay a tax whenever they fill up on gas. Those funds are used to pay for infrastructure maintenance, as well as new road projects. But as new vehicles use less fuel, the state has found itself with dwindling tax income for road repairs.
KPCC Staff, KPCC Radio: July 5, 2016
As gas tax wanes, California tests pay-by-mile replacement
The surge of electric cars on California’s roadways has created a conundrum for policymakers. While the vehicles reduce pollution, their drivers don’t pay any gasoline tax, a vital source of funding for road repairs.
Kate Galbraith, San Francsisco Chronicle: July 1, 2016
California’s VMT Program Gets Going as Oregon’s Reaches 1-Year Mark
As Oregon’s vehicle mile tax pilot program hits the one-year mark on July 1, California’s nine-month program, which unlike Oregon’s includes commercial vehicles, is just beginning. The programs monitor miles driven with projected charges that allows drivers to compare those to the actual fuel taxes paid.
David Elfin, Transport Topics: June 29, 2016
East Coast States want to tax drivers’ travel, not their gas
A group of East Coast states wants to help overhaul the way America pays for its decaying roads, and it’s starting with Monopoly money. Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Hampshire are proposing pilots to figure out how they might charge motorists a fee for the miles they travel — rather than taxing their gas, as state and federal officials do today.
Michael Laris, The Washington Post: June 25, 2016
This Is What Electric Cars Will Do To The U.S. Gas Demand
Demand for U.S. gasoline is expected to fall by 5%—and could be cut by as much as 20%—over the next two decades, according to a new report released Monday by energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. The culprit? Electric cars.
Madeline Farber, Fortune: June 20, 2016
Oregon lawmakers could look at pay-by-the-mile transportation tax in 2017
A new tax based on how much people drive could be among the transportation funding ideas lawmakers consider in 2017, according to a member of the task force exploring the idea.
Hillary Borrud, Oregon Live: June 18, 2016
The Gas Tax is Obsolete. It’s Time to Replace It
Recently, Right Wisconsin published an article by Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke laying out the need to “fix” Wisconsin’s transportation funding problem. The article was more an excuse to justify an increase in Wisconsin’s gas tax than a serious proposal to correct the issues with Wisconsin’s transportation funding.
Brian Kelly, Right Wisconsin: June 15, 2016
California Looks at Trading Fuel Taxes for Mileage Charges
Since well before the Beach Boys dreamed up their classic driving anthem “I Get Around,” Americans have been paying extra at the pump to help maintain public roads. Only now, they’re driving farther and more frequently, often in trucks and cars that don’t require as much gasoline or diesel. Revenues from fuel taxes are falling, leaving swathes of decaying pavement and few of the funds needed to repair or rebuild them.
Tiffany Hsu, Trucks.com: June 15, 2016
Roads: The New Utility
Washington’s gas tax was finally raised again last year by lawmakers as part of a 16-year, $16 billion transportation funding package for roads, transit and more. It was rightly hailed as an important first step toward meeting the state’s surface transportation funding needs.
Lens Team, Lens: June 9, 2016
CTC In Sonora To Recruit For Pilot Road Use Program
Rural drivers are among those that state transportation officials hope to recruit for a pilot program seeking a road maintenance funding alternative. In fact, at the top of its agenda, the Tuolumne County Transportation Council (TCTC) will on Wednesday host a presentation on that topic by the California Transportation Commission (CTC).
Tori James, MML News: June 7, 2016
With gas tax tanking, tolls moving into fast lane
Tolls routinely make headlines in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia as the regions work to mitigate congestion and build needed infrastructure. Drivers across Virginia — and the country — will see similar headlines in the coming months and years.
The reason? It’s mathematical.
Nick Antonucci, Virginia Business: June 1, 2016
IUPUI Researchers: Don’t Bother With An Electric Car Flat Tax — It Won’t Fix Roads
Researchers say a flat fee on electric vehicles won’t help solve declining road funding revenues, like those faced here in the state. Electric vehicles don’t pay into road funding the same way traditional vehicles do because they don’t pay fuel taxes. So, some states have imposed flat registration fees of $100-200 on electric vehicles.
Brandon Smith, WBAA (radio): May 27, 2016
Oregon Gets Company in Testing Gas Tax Alternatives
For a decade, Oregon has been the undisputed leader in pursuing the idea of taxing drivers not on the amount of fuel they buy but on the number of miles they drive. Starting this summer, though, the Beaver State will get some company: California plans to launch a nine-month experiment in July to test out different ways of charging by the mile.
Daniel C. Vock, GOVERNING: May 24, 2016
Looking at Transportation Funding Beyond the Gas Tax
The need to find new ways of paying for transportation projects in an era of eroding fuel tax revenues was a recurring topic here last week, as leaders and experts from around the country gathered to discuss the nation’s infrastructure challenges.
Bill Lucia, Route Fifty: May 23, 2016
State planners cut $754 million in transportation projects
The California Transportation Commission has adopted more than $754 million in cuts to planned highway, transit and other projects because of falling tax revenues tied to gas prices. The vote taken Wednesday also delays another $755 million in planned future projects.
Associated Press, Orange County Register: May 20, 2016
The big sell: Making people care about infrastructure repair
In comic book movies, transportation infrastructure problems are easy to spot. Bridges fall. Asphalt shatters. And unless Ironman funds the repairs out of his personal fortune, big public debt issues are ahead. In real life, damage to roads and rails tends to be gradual, though ultimately just as ruinous to regional well-being.
Mary Wisniewski, Chicago Tribune: May 15, 2016
Gas tax shortfall delays safety corridor project
Two Eureka road rehabilitation projects are likely to be cut, and the long-anticipated $38 million U.S. Highway 101 Corridor Improvement Project at the Indianola Interchange will likely be delayed two years, according to a report released by the California Transportation Commission.Funding for these improvement projects comes from the state’s gas tax, which has seen massive shortfall as gas prices have plummeted and fuel efficient vehicles, including electric plug-ins, replace gas guzzlers.
Marc Vartabedian, Times Standard: May 7, 2016
Is This The Biggest Red Herring In Oil Markets?
Gasoline demand is a red herring. A red herring is something that takes attention away from a more important subject. Gasoline demand distracts from the more important subject that there is no fundamental reason for the current oil-price rally.
Arthur Burman, OilPrice.com: May 4, 2016
Caltrans seeks more volunteers before July launch of Road Charge Pilot
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is seeking more volunteers for its Road Charge Pilot program, even though it already reached is goal of 5,000. The agency would like more rural drivers to sign-up to help “accurately depict” the affect of the pilot on the entire state.
Chris Hill, Equipment World: May 3, 2016
Caltrans deputy director will discuss new road repair funding idea at Calaveras Council of Governments
The California Department of Transportation wants you to help it test different ways that it might someday soon charge drivers for how much they drive. That road charge, officials hope, could replace or supplement the gasoline tax. The gas tax is in trouble because it no longer brings in enough money to keep up with repairs to California highways.
Terry Grillo, Calaveras Enterprise: April 28, 2016
Americans say road usage fees best way to pay for transportation infrastructure
Nearly 160 million Americans (65 percent) would support the use of road-usage fee options such as vehicle miles traveled or mileage-based user fees to help fund transportation costs, according to a new America THINKS national public opinion survey by HNTB Corporation.
David Fridling, HNTB: April 28, 2016
Editorial: Transportation funding issues hard to ignore
When California and the nation began the admirable push toward increasingly fuel-efficient cars, we should have recognized solving one problem would cause another. Fuel efficiency improvements didn’t mean there were fewer cars and trucks on the road, or that they weren’t driving as far. Indeed, the number of vehicles on our roadways has increased, and people don’t seem to have scaled back their driving. They’re just not using as much gas.
Editorial, Oroville Mercury Register: April 27, 2016
Action urged to make up for low gas tax revenue: State, transit officials consider how to address infrastructure needs
Many believe the move toward more fuel-efficient vehicles or electric cars is a good thing — particularly with Californians highly conscientious about the environment. However, there is a downside that many failed to see coming. A significant decrease in gas sales as well as price, and therefore the state’s gas tax revenue, is expected to cause delays for hundreds of infrastructure projects across the state.
Samantha Weigel, The San Mateo Daily Journal: April 21, 2016
State investigates road tax on miles traveled
Rural residents in California can see—and feel—the deteriorating condition of the state’s roadways. A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than one-third of major California roads and highways having pavement surfaces in poor condition, according to a 2014 report by TRIP, a national transportation group based in Washington, D.C.
Christine Souza, Ag Alert: April 20, 2016
California Gets Serious About Pilot Program to Replace State Gas Tax
For years, policymakers and economists around the country have been well aware that the federal gas tax is dying. In its report to Congress, the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, on which I was honored to serve, made clear that we must replace the 18.4 cent federal gas tax with other means of funding transportation in order to maintain and improve our highways, bridges and transit systems in the United States.
Geoffrey Yarema, JD Supra Business Advisor: April 14, 2016
Lawmakers consider taxing drivers per mile instead of per gallon
New efficient cars and trucks are creating an issue when it comes to collecting the Illinois gas tax. So, instead of paying per gallon, you may soon be paying per mile. The gasoline tax is a key source of cash for transportation. Illinoisans are driving more miles than ever before, meaning more wear & tear on roads. But fuel tax collections have dropped five straight years.
Mike Flannery, Fox 32 Chicago: April 13, 2016
Roadshow: Could California’s gas tax be a thing of the past?
I just renewed my auto registration and it came with an insert that says the state is asking for volunteers for a “California Road Charge Pilot Program.” After many years of ignoring the driving population they now want us to help them research a potential alternative to the gas tax. What will be next?
Gary Richards, The San Jose Mercury News: April 7, 2016
Sign up to help test road mileage charge
Two recent announcements make clear that the way California is funding road maintenance and improvements is in serious trouble. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that Americans drove more in 2015 than in any other year in history, with California leading the national trend. The California Board of Equalization voted to cut the gas tax, which the state relies on heavily to repair roads and bridges and to expand our transportation corridors.
Brad Diede, The Sacramento Bee: March 30, 2016
Public supports road user charging, research finds
Motorists would consider new forms of road user charging, according to a report by leading think tank Independent Transport Commission (ITC).
Given the apparent public hostility to any suggestion of road user charging ITC has sought to uncover just what the public really think when presented with the facts and a range of possible solutions.
Independent Transportation Commission, Highways Magazine: March 22, 2016
Telematics firms and 5000 Californians to participate in usage-based road charging pilot
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will test the country’s second pilot program to explore road charging as a potential long-term replacement for the gas tax with 5000 volunteers and several telematics partners.
The California Department of Transportation, Telematics Wire: March 16, 2016
California Asking 5,000 Drivers to Pay by the Mile
The state currently finances most of its road repairs through an 18-cents-per-gallon excise tax, which drivers pay at the gas pump. But that tax hasn’t been raised since 1994, and it’s become less effective as cars become more fuel efficient.
Jen Kinney, Next City: March 15, 2016
Volunteers wanted: California will study pay-by-mile road fee
The state of California is looking for 5,000 volunteers this summer for an experiment with potentially major pocketbook ramifications. It’s called the “California Road Charge pilot program,” a concept that will scare some people, and likely cause others to say it’s about time.
Tony Bizjak, The Sacramento Bee: March 13, 2016
Fix California’s crisis-plagued transit funding
California transportation authorities have been warning for years about problems in our state’s gasoline tax-based structure of paying for highways and their repair. That’s because the good news on so many fronts associated with higher-mileage and hybrid and electric vehicles — American energy independence, attacking global warming — also is the bad news when it comes to fuel-tax revenues coming into Sacramento’s coffers.
Editorial, Los Angeles Daily News: March 9, 2016
State Gasoline Tax Rates in 2016
States continue to grapple with the effects of falling fuel prices. Resource-heavy states, like Alaska, are particularly hard hit. Even states that do not produce gasoline are being affected.
Nicole Kaeding, Tax Foundation: March 3, 2016
The VMT tax: A solution to California’s budget woes?
California is currently experiencing a two-fold crisis that threatens to create an even deeper hole in the state’s budget. Experts argue that California’s freeways and bridges are due for extensive repairs. At the same time, gasoline tax revenues, the backbone of the transportation infrastructure budget, are on a long-term downward trajectory.
Jonathan Matt, Tax Foundation: February 29, 2016
Support for taxing vehicle miles grows
A vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax “seems to be the lead possibility” in terms of constructing a national mechanism for replenishing the highway trust fund (HTF) going forward, according to Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), chairman of the Hours of Representatives’ subcommittee on highways and transit.
Sean Kilcarr, Fleet Owner: February 25, 2016
Mileage fee backers to meet in DC
Backers of plan to tax drivers based on how many miles they travel, instead of how many gallons of gas they buy, are scheduled to meet in Washington this week. The Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance (MBUFA) will hold its third annual conference on Tuesday to discuss the plan, known in transportation circles as Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).
Keith Laing, The Hill: February 23, 2016
Road User Charging: Connected Vehicles enable a new way to fund transportation infrastructure
At first glance, a new way to pay taxes sounds like a bad thing. But Road User Charging (RUC) is an approach to taxing that has liberal, conservative, and libertarians interested. The reason for this rare agreement is that RUC may be the fairest approach to funding the maintenance and construction of our roads.
Bob Siegel, Linkedin: February 22, 2016
You Can Help Reform How California Pays For Roads And Highways
California’s transportation finance system is running out of gas. Not literally, but the buck or two for each gas station fill-up is getting much less bang than it did a decade ago.
Loren Kaye, Fox & Hounds: February 18, 2016
California to road-test new fees that would replace gas tax
Most drivers despise gas taxes, and so do many transportation leaders. But whether they’ll embrace an alternative revenue source to fix beat-up roadways — a fee tied to mileage — is soon to be put to the test.
Michael Cabanatuan, The San Francisco Chronicle: February 17, 2016
CBO: Tolls, mileage fees would better fund roads
The federal government would get more bang for their buck if U.S. drivers were charged directly for their use of highways through tolls or mileage fees, a new study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says.
Keith Laing, The Hill: February 16, 2016
State explores swap for gas tax
California officials foresee a future in which charging taxes based on gas consumption is dropped, and drivers instead pay taxes based on miles traveled.
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, The San Francisco Examiner: February 10, 2016
California Studies Charging You for Every Mile You Drive
KCRW looks at how California is studying the idea of charging drivers in the state a fee for every mile they drive. The state says such a fee might be needed to raise revenues to pay for needed transportation projects.
KCRW: February 8, 2016
We need a gas tax replacement
In its Jan. 28 editorial, “Going down wrong road on gas taxes,” the O.C. Register didn’t just choose the “wrong road,” but a path to a fiscal cliff.
Lucy Dunn, The Orange County Register: January 31, 2016
Graves talks transportation options
“We’ve got our our own funding issues in D.C.,” Graves told the conference attendees. “We have to figure out long-term funding proposals and how to fund transportation projects in the future.” After the conference, Graves went more in-depth with the Missouri Times. Graves explained that due to increased automobile efficiency, less gas is being purchased, leading to less gas tax revenue coming in at the federal level requiring new proposals to be considered.
Rachael Herndon, The Missouri Times: January 30, 2016
A Mileage Tax Is the Right Way to Fund California’s Transportation Infrastructure
There is a saying that as a politician you don’t want to be too far in front of, nor too far behind public opinion. While public opinion can be destiny for many political debates and decisions, there are times, however, when politicians need to drive public opinion to achieve efficient and effective policy outcomes. In California, transportation infrastructure funding is one of those areas.
Carson Bruno, Real Clear Markets: January 28, 2016
California to test taxing drivers by the mile
Some drivers in California will soon pay taxes based on how many miles they travel, instead of how many gallons of gas they buy, The Associated Press reports. The plan, known in transportation circles as Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), has faced opposition in Washington, where it has been floated as alternative to the 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax that is currently used to pay for infrastructure projects.
Keith Laing, The Hill: January 21, 2016
Better Way to Fund Roads
California drivers are bearing the burden of the state’s transportation funding crisis, with average drivers spending more than $500 a year to repair the wear and tear on their vehicle caused by bad roads.
Jim Madaffer, SCV News: January 19, 2016
Caltrans seeks 5,000 volunteer motorists for mileage fee pilot program
The California Department of Transportation is seeking 5,000 volunteers for an experimental program that will charge motorists a fee based on how far they drive — a proposal that could replace the state gas tax as a way to fund highway maintenance and repairs.
Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times: January 19, 2016
California road-use fee test needs volunteer drivers
California is looking for 5,000 volunteers to help it test a road fee based on the miles driven that could replace the gas tax as the source of money for road repairs and maintenance. The test drivers — who will try a range of mileage reporting options — will pay no real money.
Andrew McGall, San Jose Mercury News: January 15, 2016
Future Expectations for Funding Transportation Programs in California
Even while policymakers in California debate the need and appropriate approach to address the state’s long deferred roadway maintenance repair and reconstruction needs, we are also embarking on a real-time examination of a new way to fund highway and roadway needs – the so-called mileage fee or as some refer to it as, Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF).
Mark Watts, Hoover Institution: January 14, 2016
Replacing the Gas Tax to Stabilize Road Funding
One of the few recent initiatives to improve California’s economic base was left undone when the Legislature recessed this fall without addressing transportation finance…
Loren Kaye, Fox&Hounds Daily: January 12, 2016
Paying by the mile to fix potholes
California is experimenting with a new way to raise money for road repairs by keeping track of the mileage of cars and trucks with stickers or electronics. A large-scale system won’t happen for many years, but officials say it may be needed because the influx of fuel-efficient or electric cars will shrink revenue from the gas tax, which is the largest source of road funding today.
Kate Galbraith, CALmatters: December 12, 2015
Bill seeks ‘fair share’ fee on Kentucky electric car owners to help ailing road fund
Drivers of electric cars in Kentucky would pay a $100 annual fee meant to buoy the state’s struggling road fund under a bill filed ahead of next month’s legislative session. Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, said his measure prepares for a possible increase in vehicles that aren’t powered by motor fuels – and, as a result, don’t pay gasoline taxes that support road spending.
Marcus Green, WDRB: December 8, 2015
Ask the RGJ: Will electric cars hurt Nevada road work?
A reader asks how Nevada will pay for road maintenance with gas tax money with more people switching to hybrids and electric cars. Short answer: Current fuel taxes cover about half the road work that they did in 1992, according to Nevada Department of Transportation. There does not seem to be a good solution on the horizon to deal with the fact that more miles are being traveled on less gasoline.
Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal: December 2, 2015
UT road study outlines options; charge per mile, gas tax among choices
A University of Tennessee study released this week is laying out some options for the state to boost its funding for road projects, ranging from charging drivers by the mile to tapping the state’s general fund.
Erick Schelzig, Knoxville News Sentinel: November 27, 2015
New mileage plan is up and running
The most urgent threat to American infrastructure is the financing of it. Gasoline taxes don’t cover all highway spending, so additional roads and bridges are financed by other revenues – not by drivers.
Larry Meyer, The Argus Observer: November 25, 2015
To Maintain Roads and Bridges, Charge Drivers a ‘Fee for Service’ Toll
The most urgent threat to American infrastructure is the financing of it. Gasoline taxes don’t cover all highway spending, so additional roads and bridges are financed by other revenues – not by drivers.
Don Fullerton, The New York Times: November 24, 2015
Oregon to Test Pay-Per-Mile Idea as Replacement for Gas Tax
Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive.
Associated Press, New York Times: May 20, 2015
Editorial: Road Funding Must Include Maintenance and Construction Costs
Once the concrete dries on a new transportation project, the hard work begins: maintaining and preserving the infrastructure for decades of use by commuters, freight and businesses.
Brian P. Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA): March 04, 2015
California Committee Explores Road Charge in Place of Gas Tax
California Plans To Move Away From Gas Tax To “Road Usage Charge”
Jim Madaffer, Chair, California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee – KPBS: February 17, 2015