CH2M pilots mileage-based fees program for I-95 Corridor Coalition


Multidisciplinary consultancy CH2M is performing the overall project management, planning and technical work for a multi-state project on behalf of the I-95 Corridor Coalition, which will look at mileage-based user fees as one of the alternatives to fuel tax revenues.

The I-95 Corridor Coalition is set to test the design, implementation and acceptance of user-based alternative revenue mechanisms for funding transportation after the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), on behalf of the Coalition, a Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives grant for the multi-state project along the USA’s eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida. Currently being acquired by the Jacobs Engineering Group, CH2M is performing the overall project management, planning and technical work for the project, which will look at mileage-based user fees (MBUF) as one of the alternatives.

The coalition, which includes all the 17 Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and the major toll and turnpike agencies in the region, is focusing its US$1.16m project on three major activities within the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania:

• Education and outreach – developing public outreach materials that explain to the driving public, transportation officials and stakeholders why investing in transportation is important, why the current fuel tax does not provide a long-term and equitable solution, and why exploring a usage fee approach is necessary;

• Planning and analysis of issues – formulating approaches to the estimation of out-of-state mileage, interstate transfer of MBUF funds, interoperability with the toll facilities, the role of department of motor vehicles (DMVs), privacy concerns, and options to promote equitable application of a user fee approach;

• MBUF pilot system – conducting a three-month pilot consisting of approximately 50 vehicles in the two states, which will include an operational concept document, system requirements, selection of one or more vendors to provide hardware and related services, and pilot evaluation.

“The primary source for surface transportation revenues – the pay-at-the-pump fuel tax, which is typically based on a fixed amount per gallon – is not keeping up with the increasing infrastructure and operational needs of the roadway networks, let alone future investment needs,” said Dr Patricia Hendren, I-95 Corridor Coalition executive director.

“This is especially true of our region, where the infrastructure is America’s oldest and the need for capacity enhancements and continual maintenance and rehabilitation is most acute.”

CH2M is already working on MBUF programs in Oregon, Colorado and for the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).