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

Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

20-year-old’s body found on a rural service road North of Hope in April

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Best B.C. cities to live in: millennial edition

Other local municipalities score at bottom of list from real estate blog

More places in Hope to pick up Naloxone

Hope and Area Transition Society opens doors for people seeking overdose antidote

LIVE: Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

Girl, 15, killed in Burnaby crash

RCMP say female pedestrian was struck on Cariboo Road

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

Pipeline company questioned about Fraser Valley aquifer protection at NEB hearing

‘We want to be sure that this is safe’ lawyer for City of Chilliwack tells Trans Mountain brass

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

B.C. husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

Couple presented with Vital Link Awards for quick use of CPR

Most Read