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Road User Fee Pilot Program
Pilot Pre-Testing Begins

  
 
The Oregon Department of Transportation launched its mileage fee pilot project in the Portland area in March 2006 with the recruitment of volunteers for the program. Administered by ODOT’s Office of Innovative Partnerships, the mileage fee pilot project tests several key aspects of charging a per mile fee at the pump in lieu of paying the state gas tax. Volunteers for the one-year pilot will use a mileage-counting device for in-state travel and will purchase gas at select service stations in northeast and southeast Portland.

 

Background
 
In 2001, the Oregon State Legislature authorized the creation of the Road User Fee Task Force  to examine various revenue raising alternatives for replacing Oregon’s gas tax as the primary source of revenues for repairing, maintaining, and building Oregon’s roads.
 
The purchasing power of the state’s gas tax has steadily eroded over the years for several reasons:
  1. the gas tax has not kept pace with inflation;
  2. voters have opposed increases in the gas tax; and
  3. the fuel efficiency of new vehicles, especially hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles, continues to increase, resulting in less gas tax paid.

RUFTF, administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation, was charged by the Legislature to review all possibilities for replacing the gas tax. The task force reviewed 28 different options.
 
After 16 months of meetings, research, and discussions, RUFTF focused on a mileage-based charge.
 
RUFTF agreed that a replacement to the gas tax should be a user-based fee— like the road user fee being testing in the Pilot Program—because it is a fair, simple, and affordable way to generate revenue for road repair, maintenance, and construction, as it charges a fee based on actual miles traveled in Oregon.
 
ODOT will test the road user fee in a Pilot Program in Portland beginning in spring 2006 and lasting for one year.
 
Because the Pilot is a test, many policy options remain for decision makers, such as charging a lower rate-per-mile for vehicles that achieve a certain fuel efficiency, for motorists that avoid rush hour zones, or for those participating in other environmentally-friendly situations.
 
Based on the results of the Pilot Program, ODOT will draft model legislation for the Oregon State Legislature to consider, beginning in 2009.

Participants

Information for participants in the pilot program

Timeline

A timeline of the pilot program

How it works

How the pilot program works

FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions

Contacts

Contact information for the Road User Fee Pilot Program

Newsroom

Op-ed by Jim Whitty, "Corrections to News Reports"