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Washington Road Usage Charge Pilot Project

The Washington State Transportation Commission is looking for drivers to participate in a program that might help determine what could replace the state’s gasoline tax.

With the increase in alternative fuel vehicles, like electric and hybrid, and a tendency for modern machines to get better gas mileage, state officials are looking for ways to make sure state revenues for roads don’t diminish as less gasoline is sold in the state, and less money comes in from the state’s gas tax.

The State Transportation Commission has instigated a new test program , and is looking for volunteer drivers , to test out options for paying for roads though a road use tax.

The four options do not involve any actual payment of a road tax:

·         A mileage permit, where you pre- select a block of miles you’ll travel in a given time frame.

·         Quarterly readings of your odometer.

·         An automated mileage meter.

·         A smart phone app to be used with a car plug in.

Transportation commission Executive Director, Reema Griffith says the idea is to gauge how people like the four options, “How convenient is it for people, and does it open the door to evasion or not? What do we actually have to do in terms of verifying reports? It’s trying to make sure consumers get a choice, in how they would do this and recognizing not everybody is comfortable in using technology and wanting to go that route.”

The commission is looking for 2000 volunteers to start the test program in September. It requires a commitment of ten minutes per month for a year.  If you would like more information, or to sign up, you can visit Washington Road Usage Charge Pilot Project.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.