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Exploratory Study: Vehicle Mileage Fees in Texas. Ginger Goodin Richard T. Baker Texas Transportation Institute Research sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation. Background. Fuel taxes are problematic as a long-term funding source

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Exploratory Study: Vehicle Mileage Fees in Texas


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Exploratory Study: Vehicle Mileage Fees in Texas Ginger Goodin Richard T. Baker Texas Transportation Institute Research sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation

    2. Background • Fuel taxes are problematic as a long-term funding source • Fuel taxes are primary source of state transportation funding • Fuel consumption is declining • The fuel tax will become a less sustainable and less equitable proxy fee for road use into the future

    3. Estimated Fleetwide Fuel Efficiency of Gasoline Powered Vehicles in Texas Source: Transportation Revenue Estimator and Needs Determination System (TRENDS), Texas Department of Transportation

    4. Composition of the Vehicle Fleet by Vehicle TechnologySource: United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, “2010 Energy Outlook”

    5. Projected Fuel Tax Revenues Source: Transportation Revenue Estimator and Needs Determination System (TRENDS), Texas Department of Transportation

    6. Background • Research and testing underway at state and national levels to explore mileage fee applications • Vehicle mileage fees are considered a more sustainable and equitable approach • Reflects actual use • Not affected by increases in fuel efficiency • Represents a significant change over current system

    7. Purpose and Scope of Study Purpose of Study To explore vehicle mileage fees as a possible funding mechanism for Texas Study Scope • Document the state-of-the-practice in mileage fees • Gather input and perspectives from Texans, both driving public and stakeholders • Engage a panel of technology experts to provide input on possible deployment options

    8. Study Scope - Focus Groups • Yoakum – Dallas – Laredo – Abilene - Corpus Christi • Recruitment and composition • Topics discussed • Transportation funding and fuel tax basics • Mileage fee concept • Technology options - low, medium, high tech • Payment and transition • Focus group findings • Lack of knowledge of fuel tax and transportation funding • Negative reaction to mileage fees • Consistency in concerns raised: privacy, cost, enforcement • Preferences: low tech, no single annual payment, pay-at-the-pump

    9. Preliminary Findings Challenges: Public Acceptance Barriers • Most view implementation as unworkable • Privacy • Cost of administration • Enforcement • Rationale has not been adequately established with the general public • No value proposition • New funding mechanism raises fairness concerns • Perceived burden on rural and low income drivers • Perceived penalty to fuel-efficient vehicles

    10. Preliminary Findings Opportunities/Potential Application • Vehicle mileage fees are seen as logical and sustainable for a long-term solution • Mileage fees support a “pay for use” principle more effectively than the fuel tax • Simple solutions have greater support (i.e., low tech preferred over high tech) • Demonstrations are valuable in showing how the concept might work, particularly demonstrations that address public concerns

    11. Preliminary Findings Technology Panel • Public policy design plays a significant role in addressing public concerns over technology applications • Define privacy standards • Establish operating standards and parameters, specifically with respect to the use of data • Define public and private sector roles • With clear policy direction, deployment systems can be designed to address public concerns over privacy, administration and enforcement

    12. Preliminary Conclusions • Mileage fees are viewed as a logical replacement for the fuel tax, but public resistance is significant • Primary recommendation: Test mileage fees as a long-term funding approach through an electric vehicle implementation • Small percentage of vehicle fleet • Electric vehicles fall outside the fuel tax collection system • Public feedback: a logical user group to test

    13. Preliminary Conclusions • Advantages of implementation on electric vehicle fleet • Captures a road usage fee from a vehicle group that will not pay fuel taxes • Allows testing of the full range of privacy, system administration and enforcement aspects • Serves as a demonstration for potential phase-in of other vehicle groups • Suggested deployment concept • Base system of odometer readings from vehicle inspection • Experimental opt-in system with GPS-based device to allow discounting of out-of-state mileage