Symposium Summary documents
PDF, 587K, 26 pages
Session 4: State of the Practice: Demonstration Projects
Findings from the Third National Symposium on Mileage-Based User Fees, by Nicholas Wood, Ginger Goodin and Richard T. Baker
Prepared for submission to the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 2012.
PDF, 188K, 11 pages
June 15th Workshop Proceedings:
Summary of Workshop on Integrating PAYD Insurance and Mileage-Based Road User Fees
PDF, 66K, 5 pages
Summary: Session 4
State of the Practice: Demonstration Projects
Monday, June 13, 2011
Several state DOTs are pursuing demonstration projects to test MBUF and integrating activities related to public policy, political and user acceptance, and technology applications. Panel members representing leading states covered concepts for existing and proposed demonstration projects.
Ben PiercePowerPoint Presentation: Minnesota Department of Transportation Technology Demonstration
The State of Minnesota is about to begin a demonstration project on August 1 that will test a mileage fee discounting system for 500 vehicles over a one-year observation period.
- An off-the-shelf hardware device, a Samsung Galaxy phone, was the principal in-vehicle computational device, or thick client unit. The calling capabilities of the phone were deactivated and the device was primarily used as a computer.
- The other system components of the road use monitoring system were an OBD-II diagnostic tool, that connected the vehicle to the vehicle operating system, and mounting hardware and cables that physically held the device in place.
- Participation in the demonstration is completely voluntary and users had the capability to turn the device off at any time.
- Extensive software development was required to build the software application
- Cloud computing will be used as the back office solution and users will be granted access to observed mileage and assessed fees through a web portal.
The primary components of the fee charging calculation process will be:
- A flat fee will be assessed for all the miles that will be traveled based on vehicle odometer readings before and after the observation period
- The discounting process will only be effective when the user turns on the monitoring device.
- The difference between the mileage recorded on the monitoring device and the odometer reading will be charged as a flat fee.
- The rate of discounting will vary based on:
- Country (inside and outside the United States);
- State (inside and outside Minnesota);
- Large geographic areas (metro and non-metro);
- Roadway classification (Interstate and non-Interstate);
- Time of day;
- Day of week;
- Direction of travel ;
- Type of vehicle.
The primary components of the fee assessment will be:
- Real money will be exchanged from the users, who will be given a monetary incentive at the beginning of the study, and miles traveled will be deducted from the amount of the incentive.
- The first two months of participation is fee, with charges being assessed during the third month, and users will never have to pay more than the initial incentive.
- Mileage data will be aggregated in 24-hour intervals by distinct fee categories (e.g. geographic area, time of day, roadway classification) and the total miles per category will be sent to the back office as the main parameter in the fee assessment. Therefore, no detailed trip data will need to be collected by the Samsung Galaxy Phone.
- Monthly invoices will be generated that will show the fee charged based upon the aggregated miles in distinct fee categories.
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Alauddin KhanPowerPoint Presentation: MBUF Demonstration Trials in Nevada
The Nevada State Department of Transportation is currently conducting research into the area of vehicle mileage fees.
- The objective of the Nevada VMT Fee Study was to research mileage fees as a potential replacement for current fuel taxes and to create a sustainable and equitable transportation funding source.
- The growth in alternative fuels and the impact of increased CAFE standards is expected to lead to a total loss of 13% in State revenues by 2016.
- An emphasis must be placed on public education.
- A small field test on potential vehicle mileage fee systems is estimated to be completed by October 2011.
The scope of the study is to assess the workability of various VMT charging systems including:
- Pay at the pump;
- A one-time annual payment;
- Estimated monthly or quarterly payments with a final annual reconciliation;
- And payments through a private vendor in return for additional services, which may include more refined VMT payments and potentially lower insurance rates.
The fee assessment is based primarily on odometer readings without considering:
- Vehicle weight, type or classification;
- Local jurisdictional boundaries;
- And time period of travel.
Evaluation parameters include measures of:
- Customer satisfaction;
- Administrative costs;
- And equity.
The goal of a mileage fee system would be to require no additional information beyond what is currently be required for vehicle registration and air quality compliance programs. Privacy would be protected by not storing any detailed trip information.
Other policy considerations that should be considered for a mileage fee system should assess:
- Public and political awareness;
- Transition between user fee systems (gas tax to a mileage fee);
- Interoperability with other states;
- And the role of the private sector.
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John SabalaPowerPoint Presentation: Mileage-Based User Fee Research in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation considered vehicle mileage fees in an exploratory study.
- A study was conducted to set up a policy foundation for vehicle mileage fees and to assess whether the State of Texas is currently ready for MBUF.
- The public lacks an understanding of transportation finance and the needs to support the system.
- Opposition is rooted primarily in issues related to privacy, cost, bureaucracy, and enforcement.
The basic structure of the exploratory vehicle mileage fee study:
- Focus groups assessed public perceptions about mileage fees in five different geographic areas that varied in terms of location and population, which included:
- Corpus Christi;
- And Dallas.
- Stakeholder interviews were conducted of major business groups, private organizations, and governmental agencies.
- A technology panel considered various options, implementation issues, value-added services, and the potential for public concerns to be addressed through policy and technology.
- A State DOT Peer Group was established to look at the administrative issues affecting other state agencies.
The major finding was that Texas is not ready for MBUF, at least for now. This conclusion was based on the response of study participants that:
- The current system should be fixed first,
- The belief that nothing is wrong with the system,
- A belief that MBUF cannot work,
- And a public district of government.
Principal recommendations from the study were:
- Public concerns can be addressed through implementing a mileage fee pilot on electric vehicles.
- Mileage fees should be implemented as a supplement to the gas tax.
- A baseline of costs should be established for supporting MBUF administratively.
- Enforcement should be addressed and specifically how to collect fees from out-of-state drivers.
A bill to consider adopting a mileage fee pilot in the Dallas-Fort Worth was left pending in committee in the Texas House of Representatives. The pilot would have tested the first 1,000 electric vehicles during a study period from January to July 2012.
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