Caltrans Looking Into Ways To Tax Drivers Per Mile…Instead Of The Gas Tax

Sick of sitting around at home in your nightgown?


There’s time for you to volunteer and help Caltrans do research on whether a road user charge in California would bring in more revenue than the state’s gasoline tax.


And the clock is ticking because 2035 is the year you can no longer buy a new gasoline powered car in California, so gas tax revenues will be plummeting, and lawmakers will be in dire need of a new source of revenue.


So, Caltrans needs 150 volunteers to sign up at


The California Road Charge Phased Demonstration will first explore how drivers could be charged for the miles they travel rather than the gasoline they use by testing a  pay-at-the-pump and electric vehicle charging station system, or through a usage-based insurance approach.


Participants will be eligible to receive up to $100 in incentives for their time and feedback. Future phases of the Caltrans demonstration will include testing of app-based payment of rideshare miles and capturing data from autonomous vehicles.


Taxes on fuel are the primary source of state funding for road and highway repairs and upgrades, and for general spending whenever state lawmakers opt to use the money on something other than roads, and they have diverted gasoline tax revenues for other expenditures for decades.


But with more fuel efficient on the market, and so vehicles not using gasoline at all,  Caltrans is testing various methods to collect per-mileage fees in a system where drivers contribute based on how much they use the roads.


The six-month demonstration will start in January 2021 and builds on California’s 2017 Road Charge Pilot, that tested the feasibility of funding road and highway repairs based on how many miles a driver travels instead of how much gas they purchase.


Volunteer for the demonstration by completing the participant recruitment survey. Participants must be California residents over the age of 18, and do not need to own or lease a vehicle in order to participate.


Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR