This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ROAD USER CHARGING Opinion piece


Road usage charging is not tolling


How the differences between the two can be leveraged to help pass road usage charging legislation, by Jack Opiola, Steve Morello, Travis Dunn and Matthew Dorfman


P


ayment for use of limited access road infrastructure (roads, bridges and tunnels), or tolling, is nothing new. In fact, it predates the Roman Empire. It was


a common means of paying for turnpike construction and maintenance in the United States and across Europe in the 19th Century. However, as motorized vehicles became popular in the


20th Century, motor fuel taxes overtook road tolls as a pre- ferred revenue mechanism to pay for road infrastructure due to their much lower cost of collection than tolls and their viability as a proxy to road usage. In recent years, fuel tax revenues have fallen due in significant part to increasingly fuel-efficient vehicles, prompting discussions about the need for another innovation in the way users should pay for their usage of road infrastructure. Among the candidates are traditional tolling and Road


Usage Charging (RUC), which charges motorists based on distance driven (miles or kilometers) on all roadways. Unfor- tunately, because RUC and tolling evolved from the same need – that users pay for the facilities they are driving on – it is easy to conflate RUC and tolling. That is a mistake! Toll- ing is a revenue collection model well suited to financing the specific infrastructure on which the tolls are collected. RUC, in contrast, is best-suited providing financing for roadway infrastructure and mobility for a large area, such as a state. In the US, several blue ribbon panels and agencies such


as the Government Accountability Office and the Congres- sional Budget Office have recommended exploring Road Usage Charging as a means to make road revenues resilient to increasing vehicle fuel economy and use of alternative fuel vehicles such as electric, plug-in hybrid electric, natural gas (CNG/LNG), and advanced hybrid cars.


FIRST AMONG EQUALS In July 2013, Oregon became the first State to pass a law ena- bling RUC; however, Oregon is a state without tolling. It did not treat RUC like tolling, but as a unique revenue source. This paper examines the differences between RUC and toll- ing, and shows how understanding the distinctions can aid in the development and enactment of RUC legislation.


42 thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 3 North America


Where tolling revenue often supports a particular facility, a toll road or bridge for example, road user charging revenues can be used for investment into the wider transport infrastructure


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68