Thursday, January 31, 2008

ODOT's Road Users the Task Force (RUFTF) final report for GPS gas tax collection system

ODOT --

2001, a task force was established through HB 3946 and passed by the 2001 Oregon Legislative Assembly in order to find new methods to "ensure a flow of revenue sufficient to annually maintain, preserve and improve Oregon State, County and city highways and roads system."

The "system" would require placing a GPS recording unit within your vehicle in order to collect a variable tax which would depend on the location, time of day, and the amount of congestion of the road being traveled.

The system would collect the tax by interfacing with the GPS system with the gas pumps.

In its 12 month feasibility study, 285 volunteers with 299 motorists and two service stations in Portland were outfitted with the GPS system and interfaces.

The task force findings were that the concept is viable and that 91% of the progress participants said that they would agree to continue paying the mileage fee in lieu of the gas tax if the program was extended statewide.

The study also showed that the mileage fee could be phased in gradually alongside the gas tax allowing non-equipped vehicles to continue paying the gas tax. Retrofitting the vehicles however at this point appears to be expensive and difficult.

The study also showed that different pricing zones could be established electronically and the assigned fees could be charged for driving in each zone.
this proves the mileage fee concept could support not only congestion pricing but also assignment in the collection of local revenues and other "zone oriented" features. Furthermore, the area of pricing strategy applied in the pilot program produced a 22% decline in driving during peak periods."

ODOT developed the system with specific engineering requirements to maintain privacy.

The next step is for the Oregon Mileage Fee Concept will require additional development and testing in order to prepare for full implementation. This will require ODOT working with technology firms and automotive manufacturers for implementation within the next 10 years.
I particularly like the point of "22% decline in driving during peak periods" due to pricing strategy.

This is another example of how they are trying to get us out of our cars and into public transit.

Let's take a quick look at these two systems and how they compare for 1 gallon of gasoline.

The current system of pre-paying the tax at the pump means that you would pay for
$.24 plus federal and city fees {source:Oregon.gov} no matter where or when you drive.

Under the proposed GPS system, the amount of tax that would be paid for that 1 gallon of fuel would vary depending on the day, time, and location traveled and would be paid at the time of the next fill up. Total cost, unknown.

In short, under the current system, if I wish to buy $10 worth of fuel, I could calculate easily how much do I would get versus the proposed GPS system.

Those are just a few of the reasons why I personally feel the GPS system is a bad idea.

7 Comments:

Anonymous laura said...

I wonder how much money was spent (wasted) on a commission and how much more will be spent to implement a 'program'? Probably would have been enough to repair the roads!

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That comment shows real ignorance of road cost.

8:21 AM  
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