Oregon’s road-charging program – designed to find an alternative funding source to the gas tax – has received two U.S. Department of Transportation grants totaling $4.9 million.
The pilot program called OReGO charges drivers by miles driven in exchange for state gas-tax credits.
One of the grants involves implementing a joint project with California to integrate the two states’ road-charging programs, starting in 2019, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. The project is viewed as a potential starting point for a national program.
OReGO began in 2015 and has 1,404 vehicles enrolled in the volunteer program. ODOT can collect 1.5 cents per mile driven for up to 5,000 vehicles. Volunteer drivers then get a gas-tax credit to offset the charge.
The other grant will be used to test road-charging programs in communities that levy a local-option gas tax. ODOT will examine three local road-charging options with up to 500 volunteer participants each, the agency says. The agency will test the programs for one year, starting in 2019 in the Portland metro area.