US Tests Pay-As-You-Go Road Charging

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
us tests pay as you go road charging

According to USA Today, six states are about to test the same gas tax alternative currently contemplated for the UK. Early next year, the University of Iowa will equip some 2700 vehicles with computers and satellite equipment to clock their exact mileage. These Road User Charge Study volunteers will then get “sample” bills, simulating what they would have paid for that month’s motoring using a per mile charge. The reasoning: Americans’ cars are gaining fuel efficiency and using E85. In other words, the government’s looking at lower revenue and it’s NOT HAPPY. As hoiking-up gas taxes would be a kiss of death for any politician's career, “virtual tolls” would enable a suitable end-run– and raise serious questions about privacy. Still, the study’s “principal investigator” isn’t fazed. "It's not a question of if this is viable,” says Jon Kuhl. “It's a question of when it becomes politically and socially viable to make such a large-scale shift.”

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  • Kevin Kevin on Sep 24, 2007

    There are only 230 million cars out there, what's the problem with installing an electronic module with a built-in cell phone into every one of them? Sounds like a plan to me. Of course, me so clumsy, no doubt my box will usually be "broken".

  • NICKNICK NICKNICK on Sep 24, 2007

    a gas tax is fair. heavy vehicles do more road damage, and heavy vehicles use more gas--sooo...heavy vehicles pay more in gas taxes. so simple!

  • Stuntnun Stuntnun on Sep 24, 2007

    there will never be enough vehicles using e-85 to put a dent in the tax revenue stream-there isn't enough tillable land to do it if we tried. cars that get better mileage are lighter and there for do less damage to the roads= less road repair cost.they need to give more money to hydrogen power technology if they want to be able to keep taxing like they are.the reason for less tax revenue i would guess is people are buying less gasoline because it cost to much--they need to tax less and people will drive more--i will anyway.

  • Akatsuki Akatsuki on Sep 25, 2007

    This should be relatively easy to kill as a form of extreme intrusion if the Supreme Court wasn't run by jack-booted thugs at this point that have no respect for civil liberties. Tracking your citizenry like this is absurd, especially given that a gas tax is far more suitable. Then again, I don't really expect any branch of government to support the people too much anymore, which is a sad state of affairs.