The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and its consultants have moved on to the next stage in its mileage-based Road Usage Charge (RUC) trial project with the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find an account management provider for the trials.
Over the past decade, HDOT has proposed gas tax hikes, registration fee increases, and rental car surcharges in order to allow transportation funding to keep pace with its requirements in the face of declining fuel tax revenues caused by increases in vehicle fuel economy. The problem is exacerbated by the state’s high purchase rates of new electric vehicles (EVs) and high-MPG vehicles that outpace the national average as Hawaii moves toward its clean energy goal of 100% renewables by 2045. Legislative concerns over continued rate increases led HDOT to investigate EV fees, distance-based charges, and other alternatives, with the agency undertaking a feasibility study of RUC in 2016. As a result of the study, HDOT sought and successfully secured a Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) grant to further test road user fee concepts tailored to the state’s unique geography and stakeholder environment through a demonstration project.
In August 2018, HDOT contracted D’Artagnan Consulting to implement a turnkey system for the Hawaii Road Usage Charge (HiRUC) Demonstration project. As a means to find a replacement for the state’s 16% per gallon tax on diesel and gasoline, the HiRUC project includes two phases:
- Part 1 – Manual Demonstration, based on odometer readings taken during safety inspections, in which hundreds of thousands of Hawaii residents will receive simulated Driving Reports for their annual road usage charges;
- Part 2 – Automated Demonstration, in which 2,000 volunteer participants will receive road usage reports based on the automated collection of mileage data.
On behalf of HDOT, D’Artagnan has now issued the RFP to procure a service provider to deliver account management services for Part 2 of the project, including mileage data collection, reporting, and customer services. D’Artagnan will select one private sector entity or consortium to assume the role of account manager for the HiRUC Demonstration, which will use some components of the system currently being established for the Part 1 Manual Demonstration. The closing date for proposals is July 1.