Recent Report

Ending Congestion by Refinancing Highways
Cato Institute, May 2012

Pilot Program Could Help Determine the Viability of Mileage Fees for Certain Vehicles
GAO Report, December 2012

Mileage-based user fee initiatives in the United States and abroad show that such fees can lead to more equitable and efficient use of roadways by charging drivers based on their actual road use and by providing pricing incentives to reduce road use. Mileage fees for passenger vehicles, however, continue to face significant public concerns related to privacy as well as cost challenges.

Dispelling the Myths: Toll and Fuel Tax Collection Costs in the 21st Century
Reason Foundation’s Report (MBUF and the Changing Cost of Collection) December 2012

This study challenges this conventional wisdom. It addresses the lack of reliable and uniformly reported data on the costs of collecting both fuel taxes and tolls, and the inaccurate and misleading information reported by those with a vested interest in sustaining fuel taxes and resisting greater use of tolls. This study analyzes recent data on the costs of collecting motor fuel taxes. It also addresses collection costs for potential U.S. mileage-based user fee (MBUF) programs.

Mileage-Based User Fees for Transportation Funding, A Primer for State and Local Decision makers
RAND Corporation, November 2012

This primer presents some promising and innovative mileage fee system designs and transition strategies. For states or localities that are just beginning to consider the idea of mileage fees, awareness of these strategies can help determine whether shifting from fuel taxes to mileage fees merits further consideration. For jurisdictions already engaged in detailed assessments of mileage fees, these concepts can help refine system design — with the ultimate aim of reducing costs and building public support.

Road to Nowhere: Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy
Council on Foreign Relations, June 2012

Just a generation ago, the United States invested heavily to create one of the world's best transportation infrastructure networks. But now, with real investment stagnating even as much of the infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life, global economic competitors are leaving the United States behind. Along with a description of major policy initiatives, the report analyzes what's needed to get U.S. transportation infrastructure back on track.

Report of Minnesota’s Mileage-Based User Fee Policy Task Force
Minnesota Department of Transportation, December 2011

The goal of the Mileage-Based User Fee (MBUF) Policy Study was to engage stakeholders and a Policy Task Force, with the intent of identifying and evaluating issues for potential implementation of MBUF in Minnesota.

National Evaluation of a Mileage-Based Road User Charge
University of Iowa Public Policy Center, December 2011

This paper presents initial results and conclusions from the National Evaluation of a Mileage-Based Road User Charge, a 2-year field study conducted by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center. The study, which evaluates technical feasibility and user acceptance of mileage-based charging as a potential replacement for the current motor fuel tax, was authorized by the "2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users," which reauthorized federal transportation funding.

I-95 Coalition Project Database
February 2005-December 2011

The institutional arrangements and legal/regulatory areas are ones for which multi-state considerations raise special challenges, and for which the I-95 Corridor Coalition is already organized to be a leader. The study will assess VMT fees applied to all roads (state and local jurisdictions) and to vehicles of all types on a multi-state basis. The needs of both the State and Federal levels of government will be considered.

The Mediating Role of Motorists' Evaluation of Current Roadway Conditions in Determining Their Willingness to Pay for Future Improvements
Morgan State University National Transportation Center, October 2011

The findings of this study suggest that dissatisfaction with roadway conditions, pollution, safety, and congestion are important determinants for shaping motorists’ perceived priorities for funding along with demographic and behavior variables are useful in segmenting motorists and differentiating their preferences for different revenue-generating initiatives.

Well Within Reach – America’s New Transportation Agenda
Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, October 2011

The recommendations to look “beyond the gas tax. Innovative thinking is needed to develop the next generation of user fees. Specifically, future funding mechanisms should not depend primarily on fossil-fuel consumption—which the government is actively seeking to discourage through a number of other policies—to keep up with transportation investment.

Equity of Evolving Transportation Finance Mechanisms
Transportation Research Board, August 2011

The committee recommends actions to be taken for public policy makers and their staff and by researchers and analysts and identifies source of funding for their four major recommended courses of action: 1) Assess equity of financing plans; 2) Study equity of impacts; 3) Engage the public; and 4) Develop a better understanding of travel behavior.

From Fuel Taxes to Mileage-Based User Fees: Rationale, Technology, and Transitional Issues
University of Minnesota, August 2011

While there have been discussions among many transportation leaders regarding why fuel taxes are no longer a good way of funding the transportation system, there is by no means a public understanding of why this is so. The public assumes that the taxes they pay at the pump are paying for the system, and that if funding problems exist, they are due to waste and inefficiency. This examination--of the rationale, technology, and transitional issues in shifting from a financing system for surface transportation based on fuel taxes to one that is based on a mileage-based user fee (MBUF) traveled or vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) fee--sets the stage for a policy discussion on transportation-related user fees and lays the groundwork for an extensive public outreach effort.

Alternative Approaches to Funding Highways
Congressional Budget Office, March 2011

About 25 percent of the nation's highways, which carry about 85 percent of all road traffic, are paid for in part by the federal government. Federal spending on highways comes primarily from taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, but those and other taxes paid by highway users do not yield enough revenue to support current or proposed federal spending on highways. Although raising fuel taxes would increase revenue, those taxes alone cannot provide a strong incentive for highway users to consider all of the costs their road use imposes on others. This CBO study, prepared at the request of the Senate Budget Committee, examines broad alternatives for federal funding of highways, focusing on fuel taxes and on other taxes that could be assessed on the basis of the number of miles that vehicles travel.

The Intersection of Urban Form and Mileage Fees: Findings from the Oregon Road User Fee Pilot Program
Mineta Transportation Institute, March 2011

This report analyzes data from the 2006-2007 Oregon Road User Fee Pilot program to assess if and how urban form variables correlate with travel behavior changes that participants made in response to the mileage-based fee program. It finds that charging a noticeably higher fee for driving in congested conditions can successfully motivate households to reduce their VMT in those times and places where congestion is most a problem.

Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area: Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system
European Commission, March 2011

The European Commission adopted a roadmap of 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050.


Road Pricing: Public Perceptions and Program Development
Transportation Research Board, February 2011

This report describes road pricing concepts and discusses their potential effectiveness and applicability. It also provides guidelines for project planning and integrating pricing into regional and state planning processes, and for communicating strategies and engaging affected parties.

Idaho Governor's Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho
Governor’s Task Force, December 2010

Recommendations of the Idaho governor’s task force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho.

Administrative and Legal Issues Associated with a Multi-State VMT-Based Charge System I-95 Corridor Coalition
November 2010

Phase 1 of the I-95 Corridor Coalition’s multi-state VMT analysis was one of the first projects in the U.S. to review the administrative, institutional and legal issues associated with VMT-based charges. The Phase 1 Coalition VMT project established the foundation and the groundwork for a recommended more detailed and specific analysis in selected contiguous states as a Phase 2 follow on project.

System Trials to Demonstrate Mileage-Based Road Use Charges
RAND Corporation, October 2010

Increasing vehicle fuel economy and the likely adoption of alternative fuel vehicles in the coming decades dim prospects for continued reliance on gasoline and diesel excise taxes to fund highway and bridge maintenance, expansion, and completion. Road use charges based on vehicle miles of travel (VMT fees) are viewed by many as a promising replacement for fuel taxes; their revenue yield would be unaffected by fuel economy or fuel type, the fees could be structured to help address additional transportation goals (e.g., reducing recurrent traffic congestion, harmful emissions, and excessive road wear), the system could provide detailed travel data to support improved transportation planning and operations, and the in-vehicle metering equipment could serve as a platform for additional driver services.

How Fair is Road Pricing? Evaluating Equity in Transportation Pricing and Finance
Bipartisan Policy Center, September 2010

This research paper examines the equity implications of road pricing. It systematically considers the various ways that road pricing raises equity issues. It examines how equity issues have been addressed in current applications of road pricing, and finally makes recommendations for strategies that address road pricing equity.

Guidelines for Shaping Perceptions of Fairness of Transportation Infrastructure Policies: The Case of a Vehicle Mileage Tax 
University of Nevada Las Vegas, Summer 2010

Regulatory focus theory is used to study an individuals’ perception of fairness toward a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) transportation based funding policy. According to regulatory focus theory, messages are more effective when they are congruent with the goal framing promotion (gains) or loss prevention focus of the recipients (i.e. there is a regulatory fit). This study confirms the interaction effect when the information in a message is congruent with the regulatory orientation of the individual.

Road Pricing Communication Practices
National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board, July 2010

The purpose of the report is threefold: (1) Review and synthesize a substantial literature on the acceptability of road pricing, drawing out implications for communications and engagement strategies most likely to bring acceptance, adoption, and successful implementation; (2) Summarize findings from interviews at various sites around the U.S. with planners engaged in proposing, developing and managing road pricing proposals and projects, again drawing out lessons for maximizing acceptability and prospects for successful implementation; (3) Based on the above two sources, provide specific guidance to planners interested in developing road pricing proposals and projects, including communication and engagement examples illustrating guideposts and lessons; also, provide resource links for further information and follow up.

Transitioning to a Performance-Based Federal Surface Transportation Policy
Bipartisan Policy Center, June 2010

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) National Transportation Policy Project (NTPP) held an international workshop titled Transitioning to a Performance-Based Federal Surface Transportation Policy. Findings of the conference conversations are described in this workshop summary report.

Vehicle Mileage Fee Primer
Texas Department of Transportation, December 2009

This primer provides an overview of vehicle mileage fees and is structured to highlight and illuminate a number of different topics: Frequently asked questions about vehicle mileage fees; Long-term concerns with the current fuel tax system; The argument for vehicle mileage fees; Experiences with mileage fees and other road pricing strategies in the U.S. and abroad; Assessing, collecting, and enforcing vehicle mileage fees; The public policy questions; and The challenges to implementation, namely the public acceptance barriers.

Mileage-Based User Fees: Defining a Path toward Implementation
Texas A&M Transportation Institute, November 2009

This report documents the activities of a two-phase research effort composed of three interrelated components: 1) a technology assessment, 2) an institutional assessment, and 3) a one-day implementation focused symposium. Each component builds from the mileage-based user fee framework developed with funding in 2008 from the University Transportation Center for Mobility™ ("Feasibility of Mileage-Based User Fees: Application in Rural/Small Urban Areas of Northeast Texas", TRIS Accession Number 01121765).

Implementable Strategies for Shifting to Direct Usage-Based Charges for Transportation Funding
Transportation Research Board, June 2009

The goal in this study was to identify a range of options that might support the near-term implementation of a national system of VMT fees and evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses. Based on the research, three options appear to offer the greatest promise: metering mileage based on fuel-consumption, metering mileage based on a device combining cellular service and a connection to the onboard diagnostics port, and metering mileage based on a device featuring a GPS receiver.

Paying Our Way
National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, February 2009

Over the last two years the Commission has worked to respond to Congress’s charge in Section 11142 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users to assess future federal highway and transit investment needs, evaluate the future of the federal Highway Trust Fund, and explore alternative funding and financing mechanisms for surface transportation.

Are We There Yet? Creating America's Future Transportation System
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 2009

Are we there yet in breaking free of congestion? Are we there yet in preventing over 40,000 highway fatalities a year? Are we there yet in providing the transportation system needed to revitalize our economy? We can be. State transportation officials have developed solutions to meet the nation’s future transportation needs as Congress and the Administration consider a new and better federal transportation program.

Transportation for Tomorrow
National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, January 2008

Calling for a "new beginning" for the nation's transportation programs, the bipartisan report envisions refocusing federal transportation programs while maintaining a strong federal role in surface transportation. Recommendations can be grouped into three Rs: reforming how the nation upgrades and expands its transportation network, from how we pick projects to how we build them; restructuring the federal transportation investment program to concentrate on areas of genuine national interest; and generating new revenue to close the investment gap.

Surface Transportation Funding: Options for States
National Conference of State Legislatures May 2006

The report closely examines three long-term state transportation funding trends: greater use of public-private partnerships, greater reliance on financing, and exploration of funding innovations such as the vehicle mileage fee. It also provides a case study of the trend-setting deal to privatize the Chicago Skyway toll road and examines recent state legislative initiatives.

The Fuel Tax and Alternatives for Transportation Funding
Transportation Research Board, April 2006

This study assesses the revenue-generating prospects of fuel taxes and other user fees and identifies alternatives to the present finance arrangement.

A Forum on the Future of Highway Transportation in America
International Bridge and Tunnel Tolls Association, July 2005

The purpose of this round table was to engage the experts in a robust discussion and debate on current challenges and visions of highway transportation in America. This report presents the highlights of the discussion that took place during this roundtable.