July 2013 update: Oregon Legislature passed SB 810. Senate Bill 810 allows the Oregon Department of Transportation to set up a mileage collection system for 5,000 volunteer motorists beginning in 2015. This will not be another pilot program but rather the start of an alternate method of generating fuel tax from specific vehicles to pay for Oregon highways.
June 2013 update: We've uploaded a video that explains the completed pilot and the reasons behind the proposed legislation that would go into effect in 2015 requiring vehicles that get 55 mph or more to pay a per mile fee instead of the gas tax.
March update: The 2012 Road Usage Charge Pilot Project has concluded. The Office of Innovative Partnerships team has created a preliminary findings report, presented to the legislature. The team also presented a report on the impacts of a mileage fee in rural and urban settings. We are maintaining the pilot website for now so anyone interested can review the details, including the pilot's blog.
Feb. 1 update: We're wrapping up the pilot this month, and legislators will be discussing and debating options in this session. Keep up-to-date on legislative actions on their website.
Dec. 7 update:
Phase 1 participants are now onboarded, which means they have chosen a Plan and their miles are being reported. Phase 1 participants have received their invoice or statement for the month of November, and those with balance due are in the process of paying the mileage charge. Most Phase 2 participants are also onboarded. Their mileage reporting began December 1 and their first invoice will be generated on January 5, 2013. The Smartphone Plan and device compatibility with electric vehicles is still being tested. Those participants who chose the Smartphone Plan will be up and running within the next couple of weeks.
To learn more about the program in general, keep reading this page, look into our links for details, and check back often as we'll update when we have new information.
Understanding Oregon's road
user fee program
Finding a way to generate sustainable revenues that will maintain and operate the transportation system is a topic of great interest to nearly every state. Many agencies, businesses, elected officials and transportation stakeholders believe a "per mile fee" or a "road usage charge" could help address the projected diminishing revenues, due in part to the fuel efficient vehicles gaining in popularity in Oregon and even around the world.
Oregon, as in many other endeavors, continues to lead the nation in researching ways to ensure motorists driving fuel efficient vehicles support the roads they travel. The Road User Fee Task Force, passed by the 2001 Oregon Legislative Assembly, was created to “develop a revenue collection design funded through user pay methods, acceptable and visible to the public, that ensures a flow of revenue sufficient to annually maintain, preserve and improve Oregon’s state, county and city highway and road system.”
In the past decade, the task force researched and investigated more than two dozen options, and after deciding a road user fee had the most promise, spearheaded a successful pilot in the Portland area that concluded in 2007. That 2007 Mileage Fee pilot proved the concept of a per mile fee was feasible and pinpointed areas that needed more research and testing.
In late 2012, the Oregon Department of Transportation, as directed by the Oregon legislature, began a second road user fee pilot. When the pilot is completed in January 2013, ODOT will prepare and present a report to the legislature.