Loading WA RUC

What is the problem with the gas tax?

The current gas tax funds a large portion of the transportation budget that pays for maintenance on our highways, ferries, and other infrastructure. As vehicles become more fuel-efficient, gas consumption decreases along with gas tax revenues. A road usage charge system, compared to the gas tax, could provide a more stable source of transportation funding long-term and increase tax equity among drivers.

Not all Washington drivers pay equally to use our roads. Drivers with more fuel-efficient or electric vehicles pay less in gas taxes than others to use Washington’s roadways. A pay-per-mile system would create a more equitable system for drivers in our state.

How does washington address this funding gap to meet future needs?

TEST DRIVING THE ROAD AHEAD!

Enrollment is complete! The pilot project launched in February 2018 and will continue until January 2019 to see if a road usage charge makes sense for Washington as a potential replacement for the current gas tax at the pump. Participants are testing a mock pay-per-mile charge system so that they can provide feedback on the results to the state and decision makers.

Participants have selected one of four mileage reporting options to record and report their mileage for roadway usage. High-tech, low-tech, and no-tech options to report miles driven will be tested during the pilot, ranging from manual reporting of a vehicle’s odometer to using smartphones or in-vehicle technology.

Washington received a federal grant to fund the pilot project. Six other states received similar grants: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, Minnesota, and Missouri.

 

Pilot Project Schedule - Recruitment; Selection; Launch

From No-Tech To High-Tech
HOW PARTICIPANTS REPORT THEIR MILEAGE

MILEAGE PERMITMILEAGE PERMIT
Pre-select a block of miles you anticipate using in three-month increments
Submit a photo of your odometer mileage using your mobile phone or in person at select Department of Licensing (DOL) offices.
Average of 10 minutes of your time a month*
  • Quarterly: review mock invoice
  • Quarterly: complete feedback survey
  • Quarterly: report updated odometer reading
  • As needed: obtain new permit when miles are used up
ODOMETER READINGODOMETER READING
Miles reported quarterly, either electronically or in person
Submit a photo of your odometer mileage using your mobile phone or in person at select DOL offices.
Average of 10 minutes of your time a month*
  • Quarterly: review mock invoice
  • Quarterly: complete feedback survey
  • Quarterly: report updated odometer reading
PLUG AND PLAYPLUG AND PLAY
Automated mileage meter with GPS and non-GPS options, plugged into your car’s OBD-II port ?
Mileage reports automatically submitted
Average of 5 minutes of your time a month
  • Monthly: review mock invoice
  • Quarterly: complete feedback survey
SMARTPHONE APPSMARTPHONE APP (IPHONE ONLY)
Record your miles using your smartphone
Submit odometer photo using your smartphone
Average of 10 minutes of your time a month
  • Monthly: review mock invoice
  • Monthly: report updated odometer reading
  • Quarterly: complete feedback survey
* Time estimates are based on electronic submission of miles. In-person reporting would require additional time.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF OUR PARTICIPANT POOL

 

Central Puget Sound, 60%; Central Washington, 13%; Eastern Washington, 13%; Northwest Washington, 6%; Southwest Washington, 6%

Nearly 5,000 drivers across Washington expressed interest in an opportunity to be one of 2,000 drivers participating in the year-long WA RUC Pilot Project! We recruited a representative pool of participants from around the state to ensure balanced participation. This map shows the levels of participation in the pilot project compared to that area’s percentage of Washington residents. For example, 60 percent of WA RUC participants are from the Central Puget Sound compared to that area consisting of 62 percent of the state’s population.

 

PILOT PARTICIPANTS SELECT MILEAGE REPORTING OPTIONS

 

Milage permit, 1%; Smartphone app, 15%; Plug-in Device with GPS, 34%; Plug-in device without GPS, 21%; Odometer reading, 29%

PARTICIPATION POOL BY VEHICLE TYPE

 

Diesel, 1%; Plug-in hybrid, 1%; Electric, 4%; Hybrid, 8%; Gasoline, 78%