Launching this summer, the nine month pilot program pilot will help the California Transportation Commission (CTC) study whether a road user fee is a sustainable long-term alternative to the current gas tax, which is not adequate to meet the state’s transportation needs. Information gathered from 5,000 volunteers will help inform the Legislature’s decision on whether to implement such a program statewide.
The CTC has a website
featuring resources, information and an electronic volunteer registration form
. A detailed FAQ
includes information about the program.
No actual fee will be collected during the study. Instead the CTC will be examining several ways to measure and calculate road usage. Participants will submit simulated payments as part of the study and will have the opportunity to select from a variety of options to report mileage. Some use technology and others do not.
It is no secret that California’s roads, bridges and highways are deteriorating rapidly because there is not a dedicated funding source for maintenance and repair. TRIP, a national transportation research firm, determined that the average California driver pays $762 annually for repair costs resulting from the state’s poor road conditions. According to the 2014 biennial California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment
, California’s local system will face a $78.3 billion funding shortfall by 2024.
Created by SB 1077 (2014), The California Road Usage Charge Pilot Program is actively recruiting volunteers to participate in the study. The criteria and parameters of the program were drafted by the CTC’s Technical Advisory Commission that executed a thorough process that included public meetings, public opinion surveys and focus groups, stakeholder feedback and more.