California Road Charge Pilot Program - News

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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:


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:


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:

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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:


Privacy concerns were so important to the legislators writing the bill in 2013 to authorize the nation's first 'road usage charge' (also commonly referred to as a vehicle miles traveled or VMT fee or mileage-based user fee) program, now known as OReGO, that they required a "non-Global Positioning System (GPS)" option be included in the reporting methods volunteers could select when the program launched July 1, 2015.

Irvin Dawid, Planetizen:

Daily News

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:

Equipment World

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's Better Roads:

ITS International

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:

KPCC Radio

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.

Megan McCarty, Southern California Public Radio:

KPCC Radio

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:

Orange County Register

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:

Phoenix Business Journal

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:

Greenwich Press

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:


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. In fact, I was really impressed with the level of customer service, once it became apparent that the initial device I received wasn’t going to work. Good job, Azuga!

Kelly Garman, ACEC California Blog:

Mill Valley Patch

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:


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):

Sacramento Bee

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:


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:

SCV News

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, SCV News:

Southern California Public Radio

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.

Frederic J. Brown, Southern California Public Radio:

San Francisco Chronicle

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 Francisco Chronicle:

Transport Topics

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:

The Washington Post

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:


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:

Right Wisconsin

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:

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.

Tiffany Hsu,


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.

Matt Rosenberg, Lens:


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,

Virginia Business

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, Virgina Business:


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:

Route Fifty

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 50:

The Orange County Register

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.

The Associated Press, The Orange County Register:

Chicago Tribune

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:

Times Standard

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:

Oil Price

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,

Equipment World

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:

Calaveras Enterprise

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:

Oroville Mercury Register

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:

Ag Alert

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:

JD Supra Business Advisor

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:

FOX 32 Chicago

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:

The San Jose Mercury News

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:

The Sacramento Bee

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:

Highways Magazine

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:

Next City

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:

The Sacramento Bee

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:

Los Angeles Daily News

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:

Tax Foundation

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:

Tax Foundation

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:

Fleet Owner

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:

The Hill

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:

The San Francisco Chronicle

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:

The Hill

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:

San Francisco Examiner

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:


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.


The Orange County Register

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. A variety of financial indicators showed that the excise tax portion of the gas tax, which funds the State Transportation Improvement Program, was likely to remain flat or decline in the immediate future.

Lucy Dunn, The Orange County Register:

The Missouri Times

“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:

Real Clear Markets

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:

The Hill

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:

SCV News

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:

Los Angeles Times

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:

San Jose Mercury News

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:

Hoover Institution

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:

Fox and Hounds

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, President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, Fox & Hounds:

The OC Register

Volunteer drivers wanted! The Orange County Transportation Authority is encouraging Orange County drivers to participate in a state pilot program that will study the possibility of taxing drivers for how far they drive instead of the amount of gas they use to pay for road maintenance and repairs.

Kelly Puente, The Orange County Register:

LA Daily News

From the gran turismo sports luxury of the Teslas to the blowing little Leafs, electric cars are sparking interest in California motorists of all stripes. But the potholes and general deferred maintenance that pock the paved landscape of the Golden State affect all drivers, rich and poor, though some may have better suspensions to rattle through the rough spots on our roads.

The Editorial Board, LA Daily News:


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:

The Heartland Institute

The U.S. House of Representatives blocked an amendment to a multibillion-dollar highway infrastructure bill proposing to raise the federal government’s excise tax on gasoline by 15 cents per gallon.

Matt Hurley, The Heartland Institute:

The Spokesman Review

Would you be a winner or a loser if Washington shifted from taxing drivers per gallon to taxing per mile? City dwellers with short trips look like obvious winners. People with a 40-mile round-trip commute to town are worried. In reality, everyone is already paying per mile measured on fuel economy. At the right tax rate per mile, rural residents might come out winners.

Sue Lani Madsen, The Spokesman Review:


A new analysis for the Washington State Transportation Commission shows a pay-by-mile road usage charge would be more fair than the current gas taxes that pay for roads. The consultant's analysis presented Tuesday compared a 2016 Toyota Prius C, a 2010 Ford Focus, a 2010 Ford Fusion and a 2007 Ford F-150, all driving 10,000 miles per year. The Prius driver would pay $100 in annual gas taxes, the pickup owner more than $300. Under a 2.5 cent per mile road usage charge, all four drivers of the vehicles would each pay $250.

Graham Johnson, KIRO 7:

The Daily Herald

Along with the five-year federal transportation budget passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last week comes a good deal of hopeful thinking.

The Herald Editorial Board, The Daily Herald :


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:

Reno Gazette-Journal

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:

The Argus Observer

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:

Perth Now

MOTORISTS would be charged for every kilometre of road they used, under a controversial GPS tracking plan Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan wants investigated. Ms MacTiernan said “road user charging” may not be popular, but it was something WA had to “start looking at”. But the former state planning minister said “tolling on big new roads is not the answer”.

Aaron Bryans and Madura McCormack, PerthNow:

Tire Business

With debate continuing about the funding shortfall for U.S. highways, government agencies are looking at various means to raise revenue. Two methods to address the shortfall are a vehicle fuel tax and a road user charge. But which one will cost more per household? Researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) have conducted a comparative analysis of the issues.

Tire Business Staff, Tire Business:

The Pew Charitable Trust

Evan Burroughs plopped into his 1996 Subaru Outback and pointed to a green plastic box tucked below the steering column. It blinked once. As Burroughs eased the car out of the parking lot and drove toward the highway, the box kept track of his speed and braking, but most importantly, of how many miles he drove.

Elaine S. Povich, The Pew Charitable Trusts:

Contra Costa Times

With gas-tax revenues drying up as more fuel-efficient cars take over the roads in California and across the nation, the race to repair critical highway infrastructure before tragedy strikes is becoming more pressing.

Andrew McGall, Contra Costa Times:


More Californians are choosing electric and hybrid vehicles, which is causing the state's gas tax revenue to fall dramatically. This has direct effects on the Central Coast where those in charge of maintaining the local roads are finding ever-shrinking budgets to get the job done.

KCBX Newsroom:

Kiro 7 Eyewitness News

Lawmakers in Olympia are considering a new way to tax drivers for every mile they drive. At this point, a road usage charge is only an idea, but it's being studied thoroughly. In theory, it would replace the gas tax. Instead of paying taxes by the gallon, drivers would pay by the mile for using any public road in Washington.

Jeff Dubois, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News:

Transport Topics

California officials said they still are seeking volunteers, including truckers, to participate in a pay-by-mile test program scheduled to begin in July.

David Elfin, Transport Topics:

Indianapolis Business Journal

We all know that Indiana faces a road funding problem. We need to figure out how to get more money to repair and expand our network or face perpetual gridlock.

Mitch Roob, Indianapolis Business Journal:

Another source of money is needed to pay for road maintenance and improvement, and a study is underway to figure out what it should be. Vermonters are driving fewer miles and using less gasoline, and the resulting decrease in gas tax revenue is draining transportation funding, a state transportation official said Friday at a renewable energy conference in Burlington.

Mike Polhamus,

Arizona Daily Star

A report the Arizona auditor general released last week says the state runs the risk of woefully underfunding future transportation needs. A report highlight notes that the statewide transportation system will require about $88.9 billion for new construction and maintenance by 2035, but the state would likely only have about $26 billion to pay for it.

Patrick McNamara, Arizona Daily Star:

The Jackson Sun

The state pays for the highway fund through a state gas tax that hasn’t been raised since 1989. According to Susan Mattson, a legislative research analyst from the state’s comptroller’s office, due to increased construction costs, cost of land and better mileage from modern vehicles, the state’s gas tax of 21.4 cents per gallon is now worth approximately 10 cents a gallon. The money goes half as far as it once did.

Tyler Whetstone, The Jackson Sun:

Streetsblog LA

As anyone who travels L.A.’s streets in or on any sort of wheeled vehicle knows, our pavement is a mess. The city’s Bureau of Street Services notes that 37 percent of its 6,500 centerline miles are grade “D” or “F.” While Los Angeles County claims a better rating for the 3,200 centerline miles under its jurisdiction, both bemoan the fact that there’s so much work to be done — and so little money to do it with. While it’s easy to blame “government inefficiency” here, the real culprit is hiding in plain sight–right there behind your windshield.

Richard Risemberg, Streetsblog LA:

The Salem News

Now the state is weighing a system to use GPS to track how many miles cars travel and charge their drivers based on use of roads and highways. The controversial plan to tax motorists for the miles they drive is designed to drum up money to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

Christian M. Wade, Statehouse Reporter, The Salem News:

Indianapolis Star

Completing the Indianapolis-Evansville section of I-69. Adding lanes to I-65 and I-70. Building an outer-loop freeway around Indianapolis. Those are some of the transportation projects a blue ribbon panel of experts identified last year as critical for the state. But the money set aside to advance such projects isn’t enough, the Indiana Department of Transportation’s chief financial officer told the panel.

Maureen Groppe, Star Washington Bureau, Indianapolis Star:

The Los Angeles Times

Long for the good old days when California enjoyed the smoothest highways in America? Well, back then, there wasn't a roadblock on taxes to finance them. The route to fewer potholes and less frustrating car commutes is more money. It's pretty simple really, despite Republican political pitches and self-denial.

George Skelton, The Los Angeles Times:

The Orange County Register

The California Legislature returned to Sacramento last week with a “to do list” that includes a special session called by Gov. Jerry Brown to address the growing road repair and maintenance backlog – ranked second worse in the country, according to some.

Lucy Dunn, The Orange County Register:

SF Gate

Gov. Jerry Brown urged lawmakers Wednesday to reach an agreement on how to pay for billions of dollars in needed road and highway repairs in California, without committing support for any current proposals. Brown's administration says California faces a $59 billion backlog in infrastructure repairs over the next decade. He called a special session of the state Legislature to address it, but lawmakers have been slow to act.

Juliet Williams, Associated Press, SF Gate:

Westport Now

Gas tax? Unfair, out-of-state motorists won’t pay, improved gas mileage means dwindling revenue. (Totally fair, maybe so, and absolutely correct). Which brings us to what would seem to be the fairest, most equitable fund raising mechanism for paying for our roads, but which brought a bipartisan crap-storm of response when suggested: a mileage tax, or VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax.

Jim Cameron, Westport Now:

Business Observer

Everyone wants to use less gasoline — to save money, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or to lessen our dependence on oil. So technological improvements in fuel efficiency are in general a good thing.But there’s a wrinkle: Our system for paying for transportation infrastructure depends heavily on per-gallon fuel taxes, so more-efficient vehicles tend to reduce the amount we pay per mile. But the cost of providing a mile of road doesn’t go down at the same time.

Adrian Moore, Business Observer:

Memphis Daily News

Tennessee has an $8 billion backlog of transportation projects and not enough funds to pay for them, largely because the state gas tax, which funds those projects, hasn’t been increased in 26 years.

Sam Stockard, Nashville Correspondent, Memphis Daily News:

Las Vegas Review Journal

Nevada transportation leaders will be keeping a close watch on OReGO, a pilot program being undertaken by the Oregon Department of Transportation for motorists to pay for road and highway improvements by the mile instead of through a gasoline tax. There has been growing concern nationwide that highway funding is declining because motorists aren't buying as much gasoline. Our responsible environmental acts are now biting us in the backside.

Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The Orange County Register

The next time your Prius bounces through a pothole, consider the conundrum California faces. Today’s cars sip rather than guzzle gas. Electric cars abound. And even though motorists are driving more and wearing down roads, revenue to pay for road upkeep – collected via a state tax on gas sales – is falling. Caltrans has put the road repair backlog at $5.7 billion.

Nicole Knight, The Orange County Register:

Detroit Free Press

Would you be willing to pay $5 per month to fix Michigan’s roads? Ten dollars per month? Those are the simple and direct questions that should be asked to bypass the roadblock in Lansing and begin the reinvestment in our transportation infrastructure that most folks support.

Ronald C. Fisher, Detroit Free Press guest writer:

The Sydney Morning Herald

America has a lot of ways to pay for its roads. For generations the main one has been charging drivers a gas tax; there are also local bonds, sales taxes, and the various budget maneuvers that Congress comes up with every time it runs out of federal highway money.

Liisa Ecola, Politico:

The New York Times

Lawmakers in Washington are so scared of raising the inadequate federal gas tax that they keep passing short-term bills to move money from other taxes to fund transportation projects. They should develop the kind of courage legislatures in red states like Utah, Nebraska and South Dakota have shown and raise the gas tax.

Editorial Board, The New York Times:


Survey: POLITICO’s transportation experts think we’ll pay for roads with a mileage scheme. They’re tired of “photo ops and gimmicks” instead of policy. And they like to walk.

Danny Vinik, Politico:

Sacramento Bee

Were it politically easy to invest sufficiently in transportation infrastructure, Congress would have already enacted a multi-year funding plan to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent, and to repair the nation’s crumbling streets, highways, transit systems and bridges.

Brian P. Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), Sacramento Bee:

Sacramento Bee

At Gov. Jerry Brown’s urging, California lawmakers have embarked on a mission to develop long-lasting solutions to improve freeways, rebuild bridges, repave rutted roads, fill potholes and expand public transit.

Editorial Board, Sacramento Bee:


Oregon’s much-anticipated per-mile driving fee, called OReGO, launches today. Instead of paying the normal gas tax embedded in the price of fuel, OReGO drivers will pay 1.5 cents for every mile on the road. Here’s 18 reasons the whole country should give per-mile fees a chance.

Eric Jaffe, Citylab:

Victorville Daily Press

The Southern California Association of Governments, better known by its acronym of SCAG, recently held its annual conference in Palm Springs.

Editorial Board, Victorville Daily Press:

The Detroit News

It is not surprising that voters rejected Proposal 1. First, taxpayers do not have a good understanding of the magnitude of state and federal fuel taxes. Recent surveys of likely Michigan voters and California residents conducted as part of my research show that taxpayers greatly overestimate the amount they pay in fuel taxes.

Ronald C. Fisher, The Detroit News:


The U.S. is struggling to fix its crumbling transportation infrastructure. National highway and public transit spending is supported by the federal gasoline tax, which now stands at 18.4 cents per gallon. It hasn't been raised to keep pace with inflation since 1993.

Ben Adler, Grist:

Oregon Live

This year's big transportation story in Salem is, of course, the funding package that may (but probably won't) happen. That isn't the only transportation story, though. Another is House Bill 2271, which would require electric vehicles, whose owners don't pay fuel taxes, to pay a road-usage fee instead.

Editorial Board, The Oregonian:

Fleet Owner

It’s a common cry heard around the country. As infrastructure deteriorates nationwide, states are finding it more and more difficult to maintain their roads and fund transportation projects.

Cristina Commendatore, Fleet Owner:

Portland Tribune

Three private vendors have been chosen by the Oregon Department of Transportation to manage accounts and collect fees in the nation’s first real test of a road usage charge based on mileage driven.

Peter Wong, Portland Tribune:

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon’s new pay-by-the-mile road usage charge program, OReGO, took a big step forward Monday, as state officials announced that three private business partners are now technically certified to manage accounts and collect road user fees from those accounts for deposit into the State Highway Fund.

John Sepulvado, Oregon Public Broadcasting:

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

California is in the midst of a transportation infrastructure crisis. Anyone that drives on our roads knows this. We may be the world’s seventh largest economy, but if you judged us by our roads, we look more like a third-world country.

Bob Huff, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

Sacramento Bee

Republican leader Bob Huff and other GOP senators have been beating the drums lately about a seemingly nefarious diversion of a billion dollars a year from badly needed highway construction and maintenance projects.

Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee:

KTVZ – Central Oregon

Oregon’s new pay-by-the-mile road usage charge program, OReGO, took a big step forward Monday, as state officials announced that three private business partners are now technically certified to manage accounts and collect road user fees from those accounts for deposit into the State Highway Fund.

KTVZ – Central Oregon:

Heartland Institute

Nebraska lawmakers approved hiking the state’s gas tax by $0.06 per gallon of fuel, ignoring Gov. Pete Ricketts’ (R) threatened veto.

Tony Corvo, Heartland Institute:

Streetsblog California

In his 2015 State of the State, Governor Jerry Brown challenged the state legislature to come up with a funding formula that is both fair and that creates a sustainable funding stream for the state’s transportation trust fund.

Damien Newton, Streetsblog California:

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon Department of Transportation unveiled the statewide road usage charge program, OReGO, Friday. The program is meant to make up for lost gas tax revenue from drivers of fuel-efficient and electric cars.

Lizzy Duffy, Oregon Public Broadcasting:

Capital Public Radio

Gas tax revenues are steadily declining in California and lawmakers are looking for other ways to fund road repairs. Now the state is creating a pilot program that would instead charge drivers based on the miles they drive.

Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio:

Napa Valley Register

California is looking at replacing this gas tax with a fee based on vehicle miles driven. Gov. Jerry Brown in his 2015-16 proposed budget calls for spending $9.4 million on a mileage fee pilot program, with a report due by June 30, 2018.

Barry Eberling, Napa Valley Register:

Imperial Valley News

A Tarzana, California, man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to serve two years in prison on charges related to an odometer tampering scheme, the Department of Justice announced.

Staff, Imperial Valley News:


States used to help people buy electric and hybrid cars. Now they’re punishing them for it.

Daniel Gross, Slate:

Victorville Daily Press

California has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the nation, more than double the national average. Nearly 48 cents of the price of every gallon you pump into your tank goes to Sacramento, which then theoretically (cynicism intended) uses that money to improve our freeways and roads.

Editorial Board, Victorville Daily Press:

Texas A&M Today

To address the deteriorating condition of America’s roads, researchers at Texas A&M University say that instead of a series of one-time fixes, a more permanent solution is needed to provide the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) with sufficient revenues to keep up with increasing needs: a vehicle mileage tax (VMT) on commercial vehicles and a higher gas tax on private vehicles.

Susan Robertson, Texas A&M Today:


America needs billions to fix its crumbling, crappy roads. But no one’s got that kind of money and the Highway Trust Fund—Uncle Sam’s primary means for paying for road construction and repairs—teeters on insolvency.

Jordan Golson, Wired:

The Modesto Bee

Anyone who drives on our roads knows we have a transportation infrastructure crisis in California. Even though we’re paying more in gas taxes and transportation fees than any other state, that money hasn’t been used to repair or maintain our streets, highways and other infrastructure projects.

CA State Sen. Anthony Cannella, Modesto Bee:

The Grass Valley Union

If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle, you probably feel pretty good about yourself. After all, you’ve made a socially responsible decision to help the environment, reduce your carbon footprint and improve air quality.

George Runner, Grass Valley Union:

Minneapolis Star Tribune

The sky is falling. Some may remember that phrase from the children's fable, "Chicken Little." Well, some mileage-based user-tax advocates (excuse me, mileage-based user-fee advocates) — including a very persistent Lee Munnich from the University of Minnesota —apparently believe the sky is falling as it relates to gasoline taxes.

Bob Barrett, Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering have found that an increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) would result in reduced consumption of gasoline and consequently a decrease in gasoline tax revenue that currently supports infrastructure development and maintenance in the U.S. The scientists say the loss of tax revenue could be between $200 million and $900 million by 2025, depending on the EV adoption rate.

Tara Moore, Carnegie Mellon University:

SVC News

If high taxes guaranteed results, then California should have some of the best roads in the nation. For years we’ve had one of the highest gas taxes – yet our freeways consistently receive failing grades.

George Runner, SCV News:

Auto Connected Car News

The state of Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is getting closer to implementing a volunteer program where EV and hybrid car owners pay a toll “OReGO road usage charge of 1.5 cents per mile.” The program will launch on July 1 with 5,000 volunteers.

Lynn Walford, Auto Connected Car News:

San Diego Union-Tribune

Debates over California’s soaring higher education costs, its crumbling roads and severe shortage of affordable housing are shaping up as the most prominent at the state Capitol this year.

Chris Nichols, U-T San Diego:

Chicago Tribune

With money from a major multiyear state construction program drying up and federal funds in limbo, transportation advocates are scrambling to overhaul how the state taxes gasoline in the hopes of finding a steady stream of money to help revitalize Illinois' rapidly aging system of roads and bridges.

Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune:

Times Publishing Group

As evidenced by the many calls I get regarding potholes, we are not able to adequately maintain our roads. This is true for both our county roads and the State highway system, and the situation is only getting worse.

Bruce McPherson, Times Publishing Group:

Fox & Hounds Daily

Earlier this month, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego made a bold proposal – add another vehicle fee to the books. Californians typically punish their elected officials for tampering with their vehicle fees. Just ask former Governor Gray Davis, whose tripling of the vehicle license fee became a central argument for his eventual recall. But unlike Davis’s budget Hail Mary, Speaker Atkins’ proposal aims at fixing California’s inadequate transportation system.

Carson Bruno, Fox & Hounds:

CQ Roll Call

Jim Whitty is the evangelist for Oregon’s pioneering road user fee pilot program which begins on July 1. Other states are watching how Whitty and Oregon conduct a 5,000-vehicle pilot program in which volunteers will pay a road usage charge of 1.5 cents per mile for the number of miles they drive, instead of the fuel tax. Drivers will get a credit on their bill to offset the fuel tax they pay.

Tom Curry, CQ Roll Call:

Transport Topics

It is only a matter of time before the gas tax will have to be phased out and replaced with a tax on miles traveled to support the nation’s roads, said a room full of transportation policy officials and their congressional allies who met here Feb. 24.

Michele Fuetsch, Transport Topics:

CQ Roll Call

Speaking to the second annual conference of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance on Tuesday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D – Ore., pitched the idea of pairing an increase in the gasoline tax with a pilot program to support state experiments in taxing drivers by how many miles they drive.

Tom Curry, CQ Roll Call:

Road Charge Video

Road Charge Calendar