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More Volunteers Sought for California's Road Charge Pilot

Pilot in full swing and on track to launch in July

Date: April 29, 2016
District: Headquarters
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

SACRAMENTO - Having reached its initial goal of 5,000 volunteers, the Caltrans Road Charge Pilot program is now asking more rural drivers to sign-up to ensure that the pilot accurately depicts the needs of the entire state of California.

In 2014, the Legislature directed the state to implement the California Road Charge Pilot to determine whether a road charge could be an equitable and sustainable way to replace the deteriorating gas tax and better fund transportation infrastructure.

The state's current transportation funding system relies on fuel taxes, which have been decreasing due to overall improvements in vehicle fuel economy and an increasing use of hybrid and electric vehicles. The current fuel excise tax is sufficient to fund approximately $2.3 billion of work, leaving $5.7 billion in unfunded repairs each year to maintain 50,000 lane-miles of state highway and nearly 13,000 state-owned bridges. Under a road charge system, drivers pay based on the number of miles they drive, rather than how much gas they consume.

California is not alone in exploring a road charge model as a gas tax alternative. Congress recently passed the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, which created a five-year, $95 million grant program for states to test a future road charge alternative revenue mechanism.

"We're proud to be leading the charge in California using the vital input we received from hundreds of stakeholders and pilot volunteers that represent every region of the state."

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans

During the design of the California pilot, the Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee highlighted the difference in need between the state's rural and urban drivers and recommended that the impacts of a road charge on the two groups be carefully assessed.

"It is important that the pilot represents a diversity of perspectives so the Legislature has the complete picture it needs in order to decide if it wants to proceed with enacting a full-scale road charge program."

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans

Rural drivers are encouraged to sign up to participate in the nine month program. There is no cost to volunteer. For more information, please visit and enroll at

About the California Road Charge Pilot Program

The California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee was created by the California Transportation Commission on January 21, 2015, to study road charging pursuant to Senate Bill 1077 (2014).  The volunteer committee represents a variety of interests and stakeholders from across the state including highway user groups, data security experts, privacy rights organizations, social equity groups, regional transportation agencies, business interests, national research and policymaking bodies, members of the Legislature and representatives from the telecommunications industry.

More information about the California Road Charge Pilot Program and participant volunteer information is available at

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Contact Information

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General Information Line: (916) 654-2852

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Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

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