Local politicians in the Lower Mainland have long considered mobility pricing as a way to pay for a laundry list of transit and transportation improvements, especially with bridge tolls now in the rear view mirror. (Black Press files)

Washington State pay-per-mile project calls on Surrey drivers

State officials predict the need to replace the gas tax as vehicles become more fuel efficient

A new pilot project is underway in Washington State to replace its gas tax with a new tax, and officials are looking to Surrey residents to get involved.

The Washington State Transportation Commission will look at a pay-per-usage model where drivers would pay a tax based on miles driven, compared to the current system where drivers are taxed 49 cents per gallon at the pump.

Washington is forecasting the need for a new model in the next five to ten years, said Reema Griffith, the commission’s executive director, as cars become more fuel-efficient and drivers turn to electric models.

“It’s not a matter of if, but when the gas tax becomes obselete,” Griffith said.

The tax is used as a main source of funding for its infrastructure, she said, but the state has noticed a dip in revenue because of advances in fuel efficiency.

READ MORE: Surrey Board of Trade calls for mobility pricing after tolls eliminated

READ MORE: Commission examining Lower Mainland transportation pricing set to begin its work

“This would be contemplating a major paradigm shift in how we look at infrastructure funding,” Griffith said. “We have been studying road-usage charging since 2012 and are careful about advancing it – it’s a big thing.”

The year-long pilot project is set to begin this fall. The commission is looking for 2000 drivers across the state and 200 drivers across the border in Surrey, who would use an app on their phones to track mileage and its hypothetical cost, then provide feedback.

The idea is to better understand how this model could work with international border traffic, Griffith said, and how the two countries would coordinate the fees.

Local politicians in the Lower Mainland have long considered mobility pricing as a way to pay for a laundry list of transit and transportation improvements, especially with bridge tolls now in the rear view mirror.

The mayors’ council on regional transportation launched a commission on the topic in June to explore options for road usage charges, how pricing could reduce traffic congestion and which roads to toll.

Although tolled roads already exist in Washington, Griffith said she’s aware of the conversations happening in B.C. and will keep an eye on what develops.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 is closed in both directions according to DriveBC

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read