Tech group calls for national road-user fee to fund transportation projects

The group will bring its proposal before Congress on April 25 to influence lawmakers on Capitol Hill

April 24, 2019
road user fees; transportation funding

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a tech-based policy group, believes the federal government should be taking advantage of GPS technology to establish a national road-user charge (RUC) system that would replace fuel taxes as a revenue stream for infrastructure.

According to a report from FreightWaves, ITIF will be bringing its proposal before Congress on April 25 to influence lawmakers on Capitol Hill amid debates about funding highway infrastructure projects.

In their new plan, dubbed “A Policy User’s Guide to Road User Charges,” ITIF explains that implementing a national RUC system would require at least a three- to five-year transition period for automakers to develop a standard technology to operate with the system. The U.S. DOT would need to procure funding for the development of the national payment system.

The plan foresees electric-vehicle adoption to grow during this period, leaving the gas tax to be a weaker funding method for sustaining the Highway Trust Fund. ITIF says an RUC system would solve that problem by using technology to log miles traveled and charge vehicles accordingly; it would collect adequate revenues from highly fuel-efficient vehicles and implement pricing based on actual costs imposed on the system.

In congressional meetings held earlier this year, lawmakers discussed various options for funding transportation projects. The options put on the table included vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees, tolling, raising the federal gas tax and restoring earmarks for transportation funding. The plan from ITIF will be proposed to Congress just before Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chair of the House T&I Committee, said he was aiming to get a transportation infrastructure funding bill delivered out of committee. 

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Source: FreightWaves / Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

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