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The Forward Drive research phase began in October 2020 and will develop a robust tool to assess how a RUC will perform long-term as a revenue source, test new mileage reporting methods, and analyze potential impacts to communities of color, low-income households, displaced communities, and vulnerable populations. This phase of research is informed by the WA RUC Final Report which was submitted to the legislature in January 2020 and is broken up into 5 primary activities:


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New Mobility and Road Usage Charge

How much revenue would a RUC generate? What impacts will autonomous vehicles and other changes in mobility have on revenue? Develop a tool that can estimate near and longer-term RUC revenue in Washington. Include the ability to model the revenue effects of plug-in electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and transportation network companies (e.g., Lyft and Uber) on a RUC system in Washington.


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Equity Analysis

How does a RUC compare to the gas tax with respect to its impact on different populations? We know that a RUC would no longer disproportionately impact those with less fuel-efficient cars, but what are the other equity considerations? Identify and measure potential disparate impacts of RUC compared to a gas tax through targeted outreach, analysis, and engagement. Learn more about our RUC equity research and how you can participate.


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Updated Mileage Reporting Methods

How can we improve choice and simplify the ways that miles are reported? Incorporate emerging approaches to mileage reporting into the WA RUC system, such as in-vehicle telematics, improved smartphone apps, use of private businesses to provide odometer verification and mileage reporting services.


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Administrative Cost Reduction

How can we reduce the likely costs of collection? Are there ways to share costs through collaboration? Host information-sharing sessions with other states to identify ways to reduce administrative costs for state RUC systems.


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Testing, Analysis, and Reporting on Implementation Alternatives

What would a RUC system look like? How do we accommodate the wide range of drivers that reside in our state? Develop a pilot testing plan that considers findings from the project research activities. Conduct a pilot test of new mileage reporting methods, equity policies, and cost reduction techniques. Develop a Final Report and RUC Roadmap detailing how Washington can improve RUC policy and systems.