Webinar Series: Innovation in Practice
This event took place March 27, 2019.
With the improved fuel efficiency in automobiles and the increasing market penetration of electric vehicles, the Highway Trust Fund continuously sees shortfalls in its fuel tax revenues every year. This is exacerbated when the fuel tax rates are not indexed to inflation. Some states responded to this issue by exploring alternative funding measures like the Road User Charges (RUC)/Mile Based User Fees (MBUF), that charge a set rate per mile travelled on all types of passenger vehicles.
Several state DOTs have already tested and implemented RUC pilot programs and technology. This webinar discussed how states passed legislation to enable RUC implementation and the transition between enabling legislation and pilot implementation. Presenters discussed how pilot program findings may aid legislators in passing RUC legislation. Participants also learned how to engage the public on RUC implementation, the benefits and drawbacks of RUC programs, and how to address the concerns regarding RUC application and technology.
The first speaker, Mike Warren of WSP, provided an overall introduction to the topic. Then, a former state senator of Oregon, Bruce Starr, and Maureen Block of Oregon Department of Transportation, talked about Oregon's RUC program - from the passage of legislation to implementing the program, OReGo. This webinar outlines how to generate support for RUC, unexpected challenges in the RUC implementation, and how to involve public and stakeholders to produce the RUC legislation.