An increasing number of states – including Pennsylvania – are beginning to explore the idea of replacing consumption-based fuel taxes with a Vehicle-Miles-Traveled user fee.

This comes as improving fuel efficiency and alternate-fuel vehicles cut into the revenue generated by the state and federal taxes on motor fuel.  The VMT fees would more fairly and accurately allocate responsibility for the upkeep of our roads and bridges because those who drive more would also pay more for road maintenance.

This year, the I-95 Corridor Coalition will undertake a three-month VMT pilot project in Pennsylvania and Delaware examining privacy concerns, economic impact, technology issues and administrative implications.

Elsewhere, Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri will join California and Oregon as states looking into various aspects of VMT programs.

Although some members of the public are concerned that VMT programs are an invasion of privacy, most transportation experts believe the approach will eventually win out as safeguards are introduced and people understand the effectiveness and fairness of mileage-based fees.

An update on the VMT issue is included in the links below.

Transportation Issue Update

  • As revenue from consumption-based fuel taxes declines, more states are beginning to look at Vehicle-Miles-Traveled as an alternative.
  • PennDOT provided a progress report on the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway, one of the few current transportation projects that will increase capacity.
  • PennDOT reported that the Rapid Bridge Replacement Program has experienced some delays, but it is expected to wrap up later this year.
  • In public transportation news, York’s RabbitTransit will take over management of Capital Area Transit by the end of this month.
  • The Trump administration has told the railroad industry that it will hold it to a December deadline for installing automatic braking systems that could help avoid the types of train crashes that have occurred in recent years.
  • Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced he would undertake a performance audit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in light of concerns over declining revenue as tolls have increased.