Several states are proposing pilot programs to figure out how they might charge motorists a fee for the miles they travel, rather than taxing the gasoline they consume. The I-95 Corridor Coalition, which represents transportation officials from 16 states and the District of Columbia, applied for a federal grant last month to test the idea. Officials would stitch together the policies and technologies needed to count the miles driven by 50 recruits from each of four states. They would send out “faux invoices” monthly, and collect the data that legislatures—and the driving public—would require to decide if the change makes sense.
In July Caltrans launched its pay-by-mile Road Charge Pilot Program with 5,000 volunteers who will provide information that could help lawmakers decide whether to pay for infrastructure through mileage-based user fees instead of traditional motor fuel taxes. Volunteers will “make simulated payments based on how far they drive” and test various mileage reporting systems over the next nine months, including some that use satellite-linked location tracking and systems that do not track vehicles. Oregon has also had success with a volunteer program collecting actual cash. See http://wapo.st/292tpId and http://bit.ly/29K66Rb