Saturday, May 21, 2016

CTC and CRCTAC: Road Charge Pilot Design Recommendations

Road Charge Pilot Design Recommendations
California Road Charge Technical AdvisoryCommittee 

Letter to CalSTA

Dear Secretary Kelly,

On behalf of the California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) it is my pleasure to present the Road Charge Pilot Design Recommendations (Report) adopted by the TAC pursuant to Senate Bill 1077 (Chapter 835, Statutes of 2014). Over the past year the TAC has met monthly throughout the state gathering public input related to the design and implementation of a road charge pilot program and has studied, discussed, and deliberated a variety of policy and technical issues. This Report contains the key policy and design recommendations the TAC concludes are critical to the implementation of the pilot program, along with the recommended criteria for evaluation of the pilot program.

While this endeavor has been rigorous, it resulted in the unique opportunity to examine and develop a potential long-term solution to the transportation funding crisis facing California and the rest of the nation through a per-mile road charge mechanism. It is clear the current gas tax system will not keep pace with state and national needs. It has also become apparent the development and implementation of a sustainable solution will take time to deliver.

As the caretakers of California’s transportation infrastructure we need to be cognizant of the immediate network needs. In addition, we must look to the future to ensure funding systems are adaptable to evolving technologies. In the very near future, all new vehicles will have on-board telematics which could work with a future road-charge system. This will dramatically change how we drive and exchange information. With the advent of autonomous vehicles and on-board technologies, the motoring public will have more choices for how they move within their communities and throughout the state.

Submittal of this report is just the beginning. Implementation of a road charge requires adaptability and flexibility. The TAC is committed to providing continuing guidance to the State Transportation Agency, policy makers, and the public to ensure the program is an innovative solution for stabilizing transportation funding for the long term.

On behalf of all members of the TAC, it has been an honor to serve and be part of a project that could transform infrastructure funding in California and potentially the nation. We stand ready to provide any additional assistance on this very important endeavor.

Sincerely, Jim Madaffer, Chair,
California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee

Executive Summary

An efficient transportation system is critical for California’s economy and quality of life. The revenues currently available for highways and local roads are inadequate to preserve and maintain existing infrastructure and to provide funds for improvements that would reduce congestion and improve safety. Because of improving fuel economy, motor fuel taxes are ineffective methods of meeting California’s long-term revenue needs; they will steadily generate less revenue as cars and trucks become more fuel efficient and alternative sources of power are identified. By 2030, as much as half of the revenue that could have been collected will be lost to fuel efficiency.

In an effort to address this problem, in 2014 the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1077, establishing a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) under the California Transportation Commission (CTC). The TAC was assigned the task to formulate recommendations for the design of a pilot project to explore the risks and benefits of road charging as an alternative to the gas tax. The CTC in consultation with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) identified and appointed a 15-member TAC representing a broad-spectrum of individuals and a diverse group of stakeholders from across the state.

The TAC publically convened monthly throughout the state to discuss various policy and technical issues related to the design and implementation of a road charge pilot program. The law provided policy, design criteria and privacy protections guidance to assist in the TAC’s deliberations and recommendations in the development of the pilot to test road charging in California.

This report consists of the key policy and design recommendations the TAC has concluded are critical to be implemented and studied during the pilot phase of the program. In addition to specific recommendations the TAC has also identified areas that will need further consideration at the completion of the pilot program.

The TAC recommendations are broken down into five categories: 1) Technical and Organizational Design, 2) Privacy, 3) Data Security, 4) Enforcement, and 5) Other Policy Issues and Recommendations. Each of these categories were thoroughly researched and publically examined by the TAC prior to formulation and adoption of the final recommendations. The TAC took proactive measures to ensure public engagement and input throughout the process.

The table below summarizes the recommendations of the TAC based on category with a thorough discussion of each recommendation in the body of the report.

With the completion and submittal of this report the next phase of implementation and deployment of the pilot program resides with CalSTA. Moving forward the TAC will continue to meet periodically to receive updates on the progress of the pilot, to provide advice to CalSTA and to clarify any recommendations presented in this report.

Pursuant to SB 1077 the TAC will receive the final report on the findings of the pilot, providing comments and recommendations to CTC for inclusion in the Annual Report to the Legislature.


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