May 13, 2014
For more information: Michelle Godfrey, (503) 986-3903 or (971) 304-9705
The nation’s first per-mile charging system will launch in Oregon July 1, 2015
SALEM —The implementation team for Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program, enacted by the Oregon Legislature last July, is now seeking account managers to build and support Oregon’s premier mileage charge collection system. Procurement documents and instructions can be downloaded online at http://orpin.oregon.gov/open.dll/welcome.
“Our vision is to create a reliable, easy-to-use, low cost, enforceable, and publicly acceptable ‘open’ system that replaces the fuel tax,” said Jim Whitty, Manager of ODOT’s Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding. “A charge based on measured road use preserves fairness and accountability in supporting the state’s system of roads and highways.”
What is the Road Usage Charge Program?
Oregon’s Senate Bill 810 was the first legislation in the U.S. to establish a road usage charge system for state transportation funding. It authorized ODOT to set up a mileage collection system for volunteer motorists beginning July 1, 2015. ODOT may assess a charge of 1.5 cents per mile for up to 5,000 cars and light commercial vehicles and issue a gas tax refund to those participants. The volunteer program will not be another pilot project but rather the start of an alternate method of generating sustainable revenue to pay for Oregon highways.
As directed by the legislation, the Road Usage Charge Program must give motorists choices for the technologies they use to report miles driven as well as how they manage and pay their road use charges. They will have the opportunity to obtain services through nongovernmental entities with market-driven options that are efficient and cost-effective.
Why is Oregon implementing the Road Usage Charge Program?
Funding for transportation system maintenance, improvements and construction has been declining in Oregon and around the country since the 1990s. This is due in part to more fuel efficient vehicles purchasing less gas, thus paying less in gas taxes – which go toward maintaining and building roads and highways. That’s good news for the environment and for reducing dependence on fossil fuels, but it reduces funds available to maintain Oregon roads. More information about declining revenues and transportation funding is available on the ODOT website: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/Transportation_Funding.aspx
The per-mile charge is not a new concept in Oregon; the legislature first authorized investigation into options to the traditional gas tax in 2001. Twelve years and two pilot programs later, with extensive research and study, Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program is becoming operational.
How Will the System Work?
The road usage charge system will automatically collect mileage data from vehicles. A mileage reporting device chosen by the motorist will interface with the vehicle and be paired with software to send mileage totals to an account manager. The on-board mileage reporting device may be either “basic” (does not use location-determination technology) or “advanced” (uses location-determination technology).
ODOT will contract with companies to serve as road usage charge account managers. They will maintain customer accounts, calculate charges plus any credits due, and submit charges to the Oregon Treasury. ODOT will audit account managers and verify that all charges owed are paid.
“Using open architecture with common standards for system components will create interoperability and facilitate an efficient, cost-effective, market-driven system,” said Whitty.
To create this open architecture, ODOT has established guidelines and requirements and will conduct a certification process for vendors who propose to serve as account managers.
Companies interested in proposing technology and services for Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program will find instructions and details at http://orpin.oregon.gov/open.dll/welcome, opportunity #730-26093-14 and opportunity #730-00084-14 (deadline for both: June 27, 2014). For more information about the procurement process, contact Jim Atkins, Jim.Atkins@odot.state.or.us
Find out more about Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program
or download program details.
ODOT’s Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding works to create public-private partnerships that benefit the state’s transportation system and its citizens. Created in 2003 by the Oregon Legislature, the office deploys private sector creativity, flexibility and entrepreneurship to innovate new transportation solutions and funding models.