What is Road Use Charging?
For nearly two decades, gas tax revenues have declined significantly as a result of less driving, increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing purchasing power for construction-related materials. Many states cannot keep pace with the costs of operating, maintaining, and improving their vital transportation system. Most states are exploring additional funding sources, including Road Usage Charging (RUC), a pay-by-mile system that would replace the gas tax.
While some express concern about privacy, the majority of participants in state pilots chose GPS-enabled options. Individual states also allow options for odometer-only options, and in some cases manual reporting as well.
Who We Are
RUC West brings together leaders from state transportation organizations to share best practices, ideas, and information on Road Usage Charge.
This group acts as a go-to source for anyone who has any interest in RUC. Whether watching the story unfold, or considering implementation of a Road Usage Charge, RUC West is the place to find a clear, factual, non-biased picture of how RUC has worked and is working in other states. RUC West also provides case studies, best practices, and the most up-to-date information on RUC available anywhere.
RUC West is a ONE-STOP SHOP for all road usage charge information.
How RUC Works
How the RUC Works
RUC West Priorities
Western states throughout the country are working together to study the viability of RUC in their local contexts. RUC West allows state departments of transportation to pool their resources to study outcomes and share best practices.
RUC West has already fully funded 13 projects related to feasibility and implementation of RUC, with more on the way.
RUC West has identified the following priorities:
- Examine current programs (Oregon)
- Address out-of-state drivers in a RUC system
- Learn about effects of RUC on rural residents
- Understand public knowledge of RUC
- Define impacts of a changing vehicle fleet economy on state transportation funding
- Create road map to inform RUC implementation
- Learn about ongoing public concerns about privacy
- Identify evasion and potential policies
- Create RUC Vendor Certification Program
- Determine parameters for the basis of a road usage charge
Fast facts about transportation funding
States across the country may need to explore sustainable transportation funding models to generate adequate revenue for road maintenance and improvement needs. The current situation may not create a sustainable and stable future for our roads:
LOSS OF REVENUE
By 2030, as much as half of the revenue that could be generated from the gas tax will be lost as a result of increasing vehicle efficiency.
HIGHWAYS IN POOR CONDITION
Twenty-eight percent of America’s roadways are in poor condition and in need of vital repairs to protect public safety.
ONGOING COSTS OF REPAIR
Driving on roads in need of repair costs Americans $109 billion per year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs — approximately $515 per motorist.
Maintaining existing infrastructure
Our state and federal transportation systems are at a crossroads. The revenues currently generated for highways and local roads are inadequate to preserve and maintain existing road infrastructure, reduce traffic congestion and improve levels of service. The gas tax may not be able to meet our current and long-term transportation funding needs because it is ineffective and outdated, continuing to generate less revenue as cars become increasingly fuel-efficient.
To combat the problems, states across the country are exploring road usage charging as a viable, sustainable funding alternative to the gas tax. RUC is a funding mechanism that would allow drivers to support road maintenance based on the distance they travel or the period of time they use the roads, rather than the amount of gasoline they consume.