CSAC Bulletin Article

Road Charge Pilot Project Recommendations Issued, Volunteer Recruitment Underway

January 22, 2016

This week, the California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which is studying road charging as a potential replacement for the gas tax, released its final recommendations for the design of a statewide pilot study of road charging. CSAC was well represented on the TAC by two county supervisors: Supervisor Lisa Bartlett from Orange County and Supervisor David Finigan from Del Norte County.

The recommendations reflect the input the TAC received from hundreds of stakeholders and individuals from across the state. The TAC and supporting staff from the California Transportation Commission underwent a rigorous, yearlong process to study all aspects of road charging. To gather input we held 12 public meetings in all major regions of the state, reached out to and briefed elected officials and media outlets in all of the state’s major markets.

Some of the TAC’s key recommendations for the pilot program include:

  • Offering drivers a choice in mileage recording methods,
  • Protecting drivers’ privacy and personal information through third-party validated protocols,
  • Determining the impacts of a road charge on drivers of various income levels,
  • Determining the impacts of a road charge on urban and rural drivers,
  • Seeking participation from at least 5,000 vehicles that represent the geographic, demographic and socioeconomic diversity of California, and
  • Costing drivers nothing to participate

The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) will now execute the Road Charge Pilot according to these recommendations. The nine month pilot will begin this summer and CalSTA is beginning its work to recruit 5,000 volunteer drivers. Volunteer participation and feedback will be vital in fine-tuning the proposed program that could eventually tie highway funding with road usage rather than gas tax proceeds.

Volunteer drivers will be able to choose from one of several mileage reporting methods that California will be testing. Volunteering is free and no actual money will be exchanged. Participants will have the choice of submitting mock payments via mail or a secure website for testing purposes. Volunteers can enroll at www.CaliforniaRoadChargePilot.com.

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