HDOT continues to seek input on potential Road Usage Charge

Posted on Apr 15, 2019 in Highways News, Main, News

Two Oahu meetings and an online meeting to be held

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) reminds the public there are two community meetings scheduled on Oahu and an online meeting to get feedback on research about a road usage charge (RUC) that could replace the state fuel tax. The remaining meetings are scheduled for the following dates and times:

OAHU

  • Tuesday, April 16 (6 – 8 p.m. at Kalani High School Cafeteria, 4680 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu)
  • Wednesday, April 17 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Castle High School Cafeteria, 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe)

ONLINE MEETING (STATEWIDE)

  • Thursday, April 18 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
  • The meeting will be broadcast live on YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/HiRUCMeeting
  • If viewing on a mobile device it is recommended to use the YouTube app. If you do not have the YouTube app click here
  • Questions and comments can be emailed to contact@hiruc.org during the meeting.

HDOT has conducted 10 of the 14 scheduled meetings on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawaii, Molokai and Lanai. Another meeting will take place in Hilo on May 9. The scheduled meetings are important to share information with Hawaii residents about road usage charges and gather community feedback. This research will guide the study and form the basis of recommendations from the administration to the legislature.

“HDOT is researching the feasibility of the road usage charge as a replacement of the current state fuel tax. It would not be an additional tax,” said Deputy Director Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division. “The current fuel tax system is becoming less and less fair as those who own older, less efficient cars pay more per mile than those able to purchase newer high efficiency or alternative fuel vehicles. Under a road usage charge system all vehicles would pay the same amount per mile driven.”

In a RUC system, vehicle owners pay for actual miles driven instead of paying a state tax on the fuel they purchase. Hawaii is one of a dozen states including California and Oregon researching whether the switch to a pay-per-mile-driven charge is feasible and how it might be implemented.

Hawaii’s study is looking at a RUC system as a possible replacement to the current 16 cents per gallon state fuel tax. Important factors such as sustainability, fairness, information and privacy protection, and other topics will be addressed. Based on early feedback received at public meetings, the HDOT project team will also be examining how RUC could exempt off-road driving, address collection and enforcement concerns, impacts on long-distance commuters, and more.

About HiRUC

The Hawaii Road Usage Charge Demonstration is a three-year project to investigate the use of a per-mile fee to fund upkeep of roads and bridges instead of a system where drivers pay at the pump. The demonstration will allow Hawaii drivers to experience what a road usage charge (RUC) system could be like and provide their feedback, opinions, questions, and concerns to Hawaii Department of Transportation. More information is available on the website at www.hiruc.org

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