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Hawaii starts Road User Charge feasibility study

Following the start of Road User Charging (RUC) in Oregon, California and Washington State, another state in the USA is exploring the feasibility of such a scheme as an alternative to the gas tax. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has awarded a contract to D’Artagnan, a leading consultancy in the field of sustainable transportation funding, to conduct a statewide feasibility study of mileage-based road user fees. Expected declines in gas tax revenue at the state and federal levels have motivated HDOT to explore RUC as a possible funding source, in order to ensure the future provision of safe and efficient roadways across the volcanic archipelago.

D’Artagnan will research and analyze the current road finance situation and trends in the state, evaluate policy issues including issues unique to Hawaii, and consider administrative alternatives for implementing RUC, all in close consultation with HDOT and key stakeholders. The study will provide all inputs necessary for HDOT to make a robust feasibility determination that it can report to the state legislature.

Hawaii is a member of the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium (WRUCC), a voluntary group of 12 state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), which appointed the consultancy to aid the group’s investigations into alternative methods of road funding in 2015. Two other members of the consortium have also started individual RUC studies. Last year, D’Artagnan, in conjunction with Parsons Brinkerhoff and Berk Consulting, was awarded a contract by the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) to continue the evaluation and assessment of a RUC as an alternative to the motor vehicle fuel tax to fund investments in transportation. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) also retained D’Artagnan as the prime contractor to assist the agency with formulation, design, management and implementation of the California Road Charge Pilot Program.

January 19, 2016

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