This weekend the Oregon state legislature overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 810, the first-ever legislation passed in the U.S. to establish a road-usage charge system for transportation funding. Gov. John Kitzhaber, a strong supporter of the legislation, is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
IBTTA’s Executive Director and CEO, Patrick D. Jones, called the bill’s passage, “a major victory for alternative forms of transportation funding across the country at both the state and federal level. By the passage of this historic legislation paving the way for a voluntary road-usage charge (RUC) system, Oregon has lived up to its pioneer history and established a new frontier in transportation funding. This example gives momentum to the need for exploring alternative funding options, such that tolling provides, in addressing our national transportation infrastructure challenges.”
SB810 authorizes the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to assess a charge of 1.5 cents per mile for up to 5,000 cars and light-commercial vehicles and issue an equivalent gas-tax refund to users. The bill calls for the system to be operational by July 1, 2015.