Financial Impacts of Road Usage Charge Drivers in Rural and Urban Households

RUC_report_cover.JPGFor the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium (RUC West), EDR Group developed the data, research and analysis necessary to assess the financial impacts of moving from a fuel-based tax to a mileage-based fee system. The project included identifying fuel consumption and vehicle types in use by urban and rural households, and determining the mileage driven for all households in each setting. Using estimates of vehicle miles driven by geographic area, vehicle type information from motor vehicle registrations, and gas tax revenue information for each of the participating states, EDR Group determined the “revenue-neutral” equivalent mileage-based road usage fee rates that would be required to replace current gas tax revenues in each state.

One of the key concerns was whether there would be disproportionate impacts on rural drivers due to the greater travel distances. This has been of significant concern for policy-makers in western states as they assess equity in the context of converting to a road usage charge (vehicle mileage fee-based) system. EDR Group’s analysis showed that due to the combination of travel characteristics, mileage driven and current vehicle fuel consumption characteristics, rural drivers would actually pay less in terms of total dollars spent each year under a mileage-based fee system than with the current fuel-based tax system. The project also included development of a Excel tool allowing other states to perform a similar analysis, and presentations to meetings of the RUC West board of directors.

The original study round covered seven states including Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington. EDR Group later extended the analysis to include Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas for a total of 10 states.

In September, 2017 EDR Group's Stephen Fitzroy presented the findings at the Road User Charge Forum in Salem, OR.   

In follow up to the financial impacts study, EDR performed a second study for RUC West.  For the Parameters of a Road Usage Charge study,  EDR Group investigated additional dimensions of the RUC rate structure.


Estimating Revenue-Neutral Mileage-Based Fees for Urban and Rural Households in Eight Western States - Published in Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, September 2018

2018 National Household Travel Survey Workshop Poster

Rural Drivers and Communities Info Sheet

Please contact RUC West if you wish to view the final report


Latest Blogposts

Twitter Feed

Dispatches from TRB's Transportation Resilience 2019
For the Asia Development Bank, EDR Group is conducting an econ impact assessment on a new border crossing between K…
Dispatches from the Consortium for Scenario Planning 2019 Conference

Telephone: 1-617-338-6775 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

© 1997-2019 Economic Development Research Group, Inc; 155 Federal St. 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 USA