[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
87°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 22
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]


Commentary by Jim Madaffer
| Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016

jimmadafferCalifornia drivers are bearing the burden of the state’s transportation funding crisis, with average drivers spending more than $500 a year to repair the wear and tear on their vehicle caused by bad roads.

Gas tax revenues fund most of the state’s road maintenance and repairs, but gas tax revenues are declining as cars become more fuel efficient and as drivers adopt hybrids and electric vehicles. Caltrans estimates the funding gap to be about $5.7 billion per year for the state highway system alone.

Unless we address the transportation funding shortfall immediately, the funding gap will only widen.

Lawmakers are working on a short-term solution to maintain our roadways, and we will have to depend on the gas tax for the immediate future. However, gas tax revenues will continue to fall behind our transportation funding needs over the longer term. We must ultimately find a new transportation funding model that better reflects today’s realities.

One potential solution is the road charge. Under a road charge system, drivers pay by the mile rather than by the gallon.

Whether you drive a gas-guzzling truck or an all-electric sedan, the road charge is the same per mile. Everyone pays his fair share. Several other states are already testing the road charge concept, and we must explore it further in California to determine if it is the right solution for us.

The state has already taken steps to begin exploring a road charge system. Senate Bill 1077, signed into law last year, requires California to study the feasibility of a road charge in a statewide pilot that includes a variety of volunteers from all regions of the state.

roadchargeTo help ensure the parameters of the pilot meet California’s unique needs, SB 1077 also established a Technical Advisory Committee to design the pilot with the benefit of robust public input. The TAC includes experts in telecommunications, data security and privacy, as well as highway users, business and consumer advocates, elected officials and academic researchers.

In 2015, the TAC conducted a robust stakeholder outreach process to seek feedback and input on the design of the pilot. The TAC held 12 public meetings throughout California and invited residents all over the state to attend a meeting or comment through the TAC’s website. Additionally, the TAC invited over 400 stakeholder groups and 130 elected officials to participate in the process, and it consulted a Road Charge Work Group made up of representatives from local government, vehicle manufacturers, fuel distributors and highway users.

After carefully reviewing all of the feedback and input gathered, the TAC released its final recommendations for the design of the pilot in early January. Some of the highlights of those recommendations are that the pilot should:

* Give drivers multiple options to report miles driven;

* Provide non-technological options for those who choose to report their miles manually;

* Protect driver privacy and personal data;

* Measure the impact of a road charge on rural and urban drivers;

* Require no cost to participate.

The pilot is now scheduled to launch this summer and aims to recruit 5,000 participants who reflect the geographic, demographic and socioeconomic diversity of the state.

Because it has been rigorous, this endeavor gave us the opportunity carefully to examine and develop a set of recommendations that reflect the unique nature of our state.

While we know the current gas tax system will not keep pace with state and national needs in the future, we also know the development and implementation of a sustainable long-term solution will take time to deliver. That is why we should all do our part by signing up for the pilot. Together, we can help the state determine if paying by the mile is the right transportation funding solution for California.

For more information, visit www.CaliforniaRoadChargePilot.com.

 

Jim Madaffer, a former San Diego city counciman, is chairman of the Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee and a member of the California Transportation Commission.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

4 Comments

  1. jimvs says:

    Fascinating. Our roads and highways are fast disintegrating. The State’s highway funds have been raided in the past (by our leaders) and the rate of disintegration has increased. Something must be done!

    So our Legislature and Governor have decided that since they don’t want to risk annoying the campaign-funding interest groups and corporations to increase the fuel tax for light vehicles, they’ll just slide around and come up with a new, cool method of extracting funding from drivers. Queue up the Committees! Get those Silicon Valley boys to put their over-sized brains and wallets to work! Let’s charge ’em by the reported miles driven!

    Except this Road User Charge Pilot thing has already been done by Oregon. They’ve done their initial pilot program, and just to make sure they’re doing another 5,000 driver expanded pilot program that started running in June of 2015.

    And guess what? California has already joined the Western States Road Charge Consortium, established by Oregon and Washington state. I’ll be we get to use their data for free.

    If we want to.

    Don’t believe me? Go to : https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/RUFP/docs/RUCPP%20Final%20Report%20-%20May%202014.pdf

    And don’t start up the “California is unique” BS. Yeah it’s special but it can’t be that much more dysfunctional than Oregon can, it?

    No I think your “robust” approach is more about PR/Marketing to the public and getting all of the pigs access to the trough. Oregon’s version contracts with private “account managers” AKA Toll Road companies that have experience at billing drivers directly for their use of the pay-as-you-go lanes. And there are the digital access providers who make the dongles hooked up to the vehicle’s computer to report mileage for that billing.

    And then there’s the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that will pass through their hands on it’s way to charging us for each mile driven. Lots of value in that info.

    It doesn’t matter how much make-up and lipstick you apply, it’s still a pig. Ask Kermit.

  2. C.R. says:

    Aren’t there more cars on the road everyday? That’s what I have been told.
    How many gallons of petrol were sold in Cal. 10 years ago versus today?

    • Irvin Dawd says:

      Hi C.R.,
      You will be surprised by the answer to your second question.

      The state Board of Equalization keeps track of gasoline sales. In 2006, 15,825,386,719 gallons of gasoline were sold.

      In 2014, 14,702,632,422 were sold, a decrease of 7 percent.
      Figures for 2015 are not complete yet.

      What’s important in the determination of gasoline sales in addition to the number of vehicles on the road is the mileage of the vehicles and the miles they are driven. The former has been increasing due to mandated fuel efficiency improvements, and demographic changes are contributing to a decrease in miles driven (blame it on the millennials).

      Look for yourself:
      http://www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/mvf_10_year_report.pdf

  3. Irvin Dawd says:

    Great piece! I didn’t know that Jim Madaffer, a former San Diego city councilman, is chairman of the Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee and a member of the California Transportation Commission. I strongly agree with everything he writes.

    The release of the details of the pilot are timely considering that the California Transportation Commission has just slashed transportation funding by about $750 million due to reduced gas tax revenue. Worse yet, the gas tax is set to decrease, again, this year.
    http://www.planetizen.com/node/83458/transportation-funding-crisis-looming-california-after-revenues-fall

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.
Friday, Jun 8, 2018
Our state leaders are finally working together to address one of the greatest inequities in higher education – funding for California community colleges that serve high need students.
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018
Not every decision on the table must be made within the next week. When it comes to deciding how to fund community colleges, it would be wise to hit pause and devote more careful consideration to the discussion.
Monday, Jun 4, 2018
This summer, help your kids break away from Fortnite and YouTube – by signing them up for fun recreational opportunities offered by the City. Instead of screen time, their days can be filled with sunshine, learning, activity, arts, culture and much more.
Friday, Jun 1, 2018
In her June message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste details the best ways to enjoy the local trails and open space this summer.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
CalArts School of Art faculty member Shirley Tse will represent Hong Kong at the 2019 Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, happening now through November 2019.
CalArts’ Shirley Tse to Represent Hong Kong at Venice Biennale
University administrators are falling short in their responsibilities to swiftly hold accountable staff and faculty named in sexual violence complaints and align disciplinary policies with federal guidelines, according to a state audit released Thursday of three University of California campuses.
UCLA, 2 More UC Campuses Faulted for Sex Misconduct Process
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to announce commitments from four additional industry partners – AMC Networks, Moving Picture Institute, Telsey + Company, and Xperi – to participate in Academy Gold, an entertainment industry-wide internship enhancement and mentorship program for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.
Academy Launches Summer ‘Gold’ Diversity Internships
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in their meeting Tuesday will consider a motion urging California to create an emblem program for licensed cannabis stores so consumers will know which stores are legal.
Supes Propose Statewide Cannabis Store Licensing Program
The JetHawks began the second half of the 2018 season with a win, beating Inland Empire, 7-5, at The Hangar Thursday night.
JetHawks Start Strong in Second Half, Beat IE 7-5
After four weeks of spirited voting, USA Today announced Friday that readers have voted Six Flags Magic Mountain the winner of the 2018 Best Theme Park contest.
USA Today: Six Flags Magic Mountain No. 1 Theme Park
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, June 26, starting at 9:30 a.m.
June 26: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The state of California has a list of more than 10,000 known individuals in illegal possession of firearms, but has not provided adequate resources for law enforcement to recover their weapons, Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said in a statement Friday.
After Firearms Raid, Acosta Calls for More Law Enforcement Funding
A voter-approved ballot measure aimed at reducing California’s prison population and ending racial disparities in the war on drugs has produced most of the cost-saving, equity-focused results it promised, with some exceptions, according to a study published Thursday.
Study: Prop. 47 Decreased Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests
A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy reportedly clocked a Las Vegas woman driving 93 miles an hour near the Saugus Speedway and arrested her on charges of excessive speed and reckless driving late Wednesday night.
Nevada Woman Arrested for Speeding, Reckless Driving in Saugus
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
The ARTree still has openings for next week's Junior Arts Sampler and "I Made That!" pastel classes.
ARTree Summer Classes Still Available
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a study session, Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m.
June 25: Arts Commission Study Session
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting, Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
June 28: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m.
June 26: Santa Clarita City Council Special Meeting
Firefighters are battling a brush fire at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill that started around 3:00 p.m. Thursday.
Firefighters Battling 1-2 Acre Fire Near Newhall Pass
Glenn Frankel and Keri Walsh have been named 2018 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy Honors 2018 Film Scholars
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Sweat Box Sauna Bar as they celebrate the opening of their new location.
June 27: Grand Opening Celebration Sweat Box Sauna Bar
Fresh Mustang connections to Major League Baseball didn't end with the draft earlier this month. Master's graduate David Sheaffer, who transferred before his final collegiate season to pursue an international MBA program, signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners on June 10.
TMU Alum Signs with Seattle Mariners
There are spots still available on the Saugus Spartans Football program for kids between the ages of 6-8 years old.
Spots Still Open on Saugus Spartans Football Program
An already extremely tight inventory bumped into rising interest rates to further complicate home sales during May in the Santa Clarita Valley, which saw drops in home and condominium closed escrows compared to a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Home, Condo Sales Drop Amid Tight Inventory, Rising Interest Rates
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are looking for a male suspect who stole a tip jar from a local coffee shop. Details below are from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
Detectives Seek Public’s Help in Nabbing Tip Jar Thief
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
July 28: Children’s Bureau Foster Care, Adoption Information Meeting
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Friday, June 22, in the city of Santa Clarita in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
LASD to Conduct Specialized Motorcycle Safety Operation
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for all individuals in Santa Clarita Valley and for sensitive individuals in East San Gabriel Valley area tomorrow, Friday, June 22.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody). [story]
CalArts alumna and faculty member Brigette Barrager (BFA Film/Video 07) was awarded the Christopher Award for Distinguished Achievement for her illustration of "Pocket Full of Colors."
CalArts Faculty Brigette Barrager Wins Christopher Award
"Window Lace," the first exhibit by CalArts students to be presented at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall, is now open on the mall's first floor across from H&M and will be on display through the end of summer 2018.
CalArts Opens its First Art Exhibit at Westfield Valencia Mall
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that Jennifer Todd has won the runoff election for the open Producers Branch seat on the 2018–19 Board of Governors.
Producer Jennifer Todd Voted to Academy Board of Governors
California's median home price reached a new high in May, while home sales retreated both on a monthly and annual basis, wiping out most of the gains posted for the year, the California Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
California Median Home Price Hits Record High, Sales Drop in May
In an effort to transform California’s relationship to energy markets in the western region of the country, lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a bill that would merge California into a regional energy market.
California’s Controversial Energy-Grid Bill Advances
Santa Clarita-based SOS Entertainment has been named the 38th Assembly District’s Business of the Year, Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) announced Wednesday.
SOS Entertainment Named 38th Assembly District Business of the Year
Tickets are now on sale for “A Doll’s House,” “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Harold and Maude,” three theater productions to be presented in June and July at The Main in Old Town Newhall.
Tickets on Sale for 3 New Theater Productions at The Main
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan announced on Wednesday the fifth ballot counting update for the Statewide Direct Primary Election.
Fifth Election Results Update for June 5 Primary Election
Los Angeles County has engaged information technology leader IBM Security Services to conduct an independent review and evaluation of the systems and procedures used in the production and printing of voter rosters for the June 5 Statewide Direct Primary Election.
L.A. County Selects IBM Security Services to Review Voter Roster Error
The Assembly Committee on Public Safety unanimously passed Senate Bill 1024, the Animal Cruelty & Violence Intervention Act of 2018, introduced by Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, to change the way California handles animal abuse offenders, Wilk announced Wednesday.
Wilk Animal Offender Bill Passes Assembly Public Safety Committee