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“Road Usage Charging will also allow those who wish to have an in-vehicle device or service to get even more service or value from the experience”

higher, but these short-term, ramp-up costs are normal in any major policy transition, and well worth the investment, since they will result in a system that is resilient to sharp reductions in fuel consumption, as explained in point 1 above.

7. Those who will profit most from RUC are road users Mr. Armstrong states that private interests are lobbying for RUC since public private partnerships for implementation “can be a big business.” So “while the private parties would get rich,” he continues, “the public will get nothing (in com- parison to gas taxes).” The implication is that industry will make substantial profits that eat away at revenues slated for highway funding. This is a misrepresentation of how pri- vate industry can participate in RUC and profit from it — by providing drivers existing and new value added services. That is not something to criticize; it should be encouraged and celebrated. On that count, we agree that RUC can be a big business! Private industry participants in Road Usage Charging will

be companies who already have a presence in the vehicle or who would like to gain a presence in the vehicle — a presence by which they can provide the driver an additional services. Such participants would be, for example: • Pay-as-you-drive insurance companies who already may be collecting mileage data for insurance purposes.

• Automobile telematics companies who also collect travel and traffic information, or other in-vehicle telematics ven- tures.

• Other in-vehicle telematics enterprises or mobile network operators who already have a telecommunications service with the individual’s smartphone. • Traffic data aggregators.

However, as stated earlier, such participation is neither required nor costly. The public sector can already collect RUC using manual approaches that rely on existing technol- ogy (i.e., odometers). Private sector participation in RUC can only occur the same way other goods and services occur in a market: when customers demand it. If and when they do, firms can provide mileage reporting for RUC at a marginal cost which, when scaled up to millions of users, is minis- cule and thus favorable to RUC revenues. Therefore, private companies will be interested in RUC only if they can also sell additional services to their customers, such as: • Interoperable toll payments • Pay-as-you-drive insurance services • Driving style analysis (maximizing eco driving or feed- back for young drivers)


• Check engine light diagnostics and maintenance reminders • Mileage cost accounting for shared vehicles • Mobile emissions inspections • And many more. So Road Usage Charging will not only benefit the public by making road financing revenues resilient to increasing fuel economies, it will also allow those who wish to have an in- vehicle device or service to get even more service or value from the experience.

CONCLUSIONS We have shown that many individuals and groups support RUC. We have shown that RUC is needed to maintain con- stant highway revenues in the face of increasing fuel econo- mies, and that it is needed today, not in ten years. We have shown that neither tracking fuel taxes to inflation nor raising the rate substantially will provide a long-term solution for the problem. We have shown that technology to collect RUC is available

today, and that using this technology will result in costs of collection that are comparable to the cost of collecting the fuels tax. And most importantly, we have shown that road users will benefit the most from RUC — because those who choose to drive will pay to sustain the road system in an equitable and transparent manner, unlike the hidden fuel tax which is neither sustainable nor equitable. For all these reasons, and for the reasons cited in Matthew

Dorfman’s original article, RUC is a policy for providing a sustainable revenue source for roadway construction and maintenance today and into the future.

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 Jack Opiola is Managing Partner/President of D’Artagnan Consulting LLP; Steve Morello is Senior Partner/Senior Vice President; Travis Dunn is Partner/Vice President;Matthew Dorfman is Partner/Vice President

 D’Artagnan Consulting LLP (DCL) partners have seven decades of combined experience in the transportation sector. Together, their diverse backgrounds and perspectives have created a one-of-a-kind consulting venture that offers unparalleled knowledge, experience, and cutting edge ideas to promote transformation toward financial sustainability and equity in surface transport. Vol 8 No 3 North America |||||||||||||||||

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