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

Saskia and Darrel kick off spring tour with Chilliwack concert

Stories of the Great Plains delivered in Gaelic, French and more

RCMP officer reaching out to youth about intimate partner violence

Chilliwack officer and friends of Maple Batalia team up to encourage bystanders to speak up

Sarah Wark faces do-or-die match at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark’s rink will face Manitoba Thursday morning with a championship pool berth on the line.

Chilliwack Chief Kevin Wall nominated for BCHL awards

Wall is in the running for MVP and top rookie, and will find out if he’s won before the playoffs.

Permaculture group planning a seed swap

The AGM is Feb. 23 for Valley Permaculture Guild members

VIDEO: North Delta elementary school closed following stabbing that left cop, woman in serious condition

An off-duty police officer and a woman were injured outside of the school Wednesday afternoon

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

5 to start your day

Two people are in critical condition after stabbing, searchers recover body of missing snowshoer and more

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Most Read