The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is calling for 5,000 volunteers to take part in a free study to pilot road user charging options.
The Road Charge Pilot Program, formulated by the California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee, will produce information for further study on the concept of a road charge program. State officials are looking to recruit a large number of volunteers from different geographic and socioeconomic groups.
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.
“Our recommendations reflect the input we received from hundreds of stakeholders and individuals that represent every region of the state,” said Jim Madaffer, Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee. “While this endeavor has been rigorous, it resulted in the unique opportunity to examine a per-mile road charge mechanism as a potential long term solution to the issue of declining transportation revenue facing California.”
“The gas tax is outdated and no longer capable of meeting all of our future transportation revenue needs,” said Will Kempton, Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission. “The pilot is an excellent opportunity to study road charging and should provide the Legislature the data it needs to better determine whether and how this idea might work in California.”
More information about the California Road Charge Pilot Program and participant volunteer information is available at www.CaliforniaRoadChargePilot.com.