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Caltrans testing program would charge drivers by miles rather than gas tax

Could we soon have to dive deeper into our wallets to get behind the wheel? Caltrans is looking into a program called a "road user charge," an alternative to the state gas tax.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 10:01 AM
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 10:23 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Could we soon have to dive deeper into our wallets to get behind the wheel? Caltrans is looking into a program called a "road user charge," an alternative to the state gas tax.

Caltrans will be testing various methods to collect per-mileage fees in essence toll roads.

Beginning in January 2021, the California Road Charge Phased Demonstration will first explore how drivers could be charged for the miles they travel rather than the gasoline they use by testing a user-friendly pay-at-the-pump and electric vehicle charging station system, or through a usage-based insurance approach.

Participants will be eligible to receive up to $100 in incentives each for their time and feedback. Future phases of the Caltrans demonstration will include testing of app-based payment of rideshare miles and capturing data from autonomous vehicles.

The program would have every driver in the state be charged for the miles they drive rather than how much gas they use.

Representatives from Caltrans say, "taxes on fuel are the primary source of state funding for road and highway repairs and upgrades. With vehicles growing more fuel-efficient and more zero-emission options becoming available, Caltrans is testing various methods to collect per-mileage fees in a system where drivers contribute based on how much they use the road."

Further research is being done on this, Caltrans is looking for 150 volunteers for the program.

Volunteers for this Caltrans program must be at least 18 years old and you do not have to own or lease a vehicle to participate.

To sign up for the volunteer program, CLICK HERE.

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