The Oregon Department of Transportation is leading the way in exploring alternative ways of funding the maintenance and operation of our transportation system. 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. 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 user-based fee for fuel efficient vehicles is viable because it is a fair 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 first tested the concept for feasibility in 2006 - 2007; this was called the Road User Fee Pilot Project, or RUFPP (download the final report here). With the lessons learned from that pilot, the Oregon legislature directed the department to conduct a second pilot and present the results in 2013. This is called the Road Usage Charge Pilot Project, or RUCPP, and it is now complete.
As a result of all the studies, research, public involvement and testing, in summer 2013, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 810, making a road usage charge program operational. It is the first operational "per mile" charge in the country. Getting it up and running by the due date of July 1, 2015 is now the focus of the ODOT team and its partners.