I-95 Corridor Coalition tests idea of charging drivers per mile driven

I-95 Corridor Coalition tests idea of charging drivers per mile driven

Infrastructure in the U.S. is in dire need of repair and upgrade. Congress refuses to even consider raising the gas tax, although it has not been raised in nearly 25 years. The tax has not covered the cost of road repair for some time. Transportation authorities need to find another source of revenue. Both Maryland and Virginia have raised their state gas tax recently as part of larger transportation bills.

Some years ago, transportation planners came up with the concept of a user fee a tax on drivers for the miles they drive, also known as vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The idea has mostly been confined to policy circles, but the I-95 Corridor Coalition, made up of transportation agencies along the East Coast, is now testing it in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The fee would be either in addition to or instead of the gas tax. The test is meant as an exploration of the idea rather than an endorsement, Coalition Executive Director Patricia Hendren told WTOP.com.

Other areas to be studied are how to apply the miles-driven fee on toll roads, how to address privacy concerns and how to account for out-of-state drivers, Hendren said.

The project is funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Project coordinators will also hear views of driver, trucking and tolling groups, and other East Coast transportation agencies.

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