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.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

VIDEO: LEGO fundraiser builds playground purse

Inspired families built LEGO creations, helped Silver Creek build playground

PHOTOS: 100 years and counting for Boston Bar school

Boston Bar Elementary-Secondary School celebrates Centennial with a bang

Sunshine Valley songbird releases EP

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Pater has been singing and performing since age 9

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Chilliwack’s Spirit Abreast team searching for new paddlers

As dragon boat season approaches, breast-cancer-focused team holds annual meet and greet

Body of missing Australian woman found in Whistler lake

RCMP say they do not suspect foul play in Allison Raspa’s death

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

COLUMN: Fundraiser helps Abbotsford family fulfill $100K goal for BC Children’s Hospital

Five years after setting their goal, Team Miracle Maya surpasses their target

Speculation tax causing concern at Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs

Recreational property owners face hefty bill for 2019 for what some call a ‘wealth’ tax

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Most Read