Moving to a Truck VMT system
The policy change with the most promise is to move to a vehicle miles traveled system (VMT) for trucking. Because of the significant advantages of a VMT system, coupled with the fact that at some point in the future a significant share of vehicles are likely to be powered by electricity, it is largely only a matter of time before vehicles pay to use roads on the basis of a VMT system. As such,
The advantage of starting a national VMT program with trucks are two-fold. First, the scope of the program would be smaller (there are many fewer trucks than cars), making it easier to implement. In addition, the cost of a VMT system for a truck is a much smaller component of overall vehicle cost than for passenger vehicles, and any system could be designed around the technology already installed in the trucks. Second, the benefits from a VMT system for trucks is higher than for cars, in part because the variation of costs imposed by trucks on the system is much higher than it is for passenger vehicles.
At least one nation has adopted a truck VMT system. In 2005,
A truck VMT system could be designed in the following way. Trucks over a certain size and weight would be required to have an on-board unit installed (in new trucks such equipment would be mandatory) that would allow the unit to identify where it is, the time of day and day of week, and the charge for the segment of roadway the truck is traveling on. In addition, trucks would have axle weight sensors installed which would measure the weight of the truck per axle. Trucks would pay based on a number of different factors: the truck weight (heaver weights would pay more); emissions per mile ("dirtier" trucks wouldpay more); type of road (trucks would pay more to travel on roads not designed for heavy trucks and less on roads designed for them), and overall miles. In addition, trucks could be charged on the basis of congestion, with higher prices for driving on roads that are normally congested (e.g. urban freeways at rush hour periods). The system could be set up to collect and remit both state and federal taxes.
Most Popular Stories
- Nelson Mandela Dies After Momentous Life
- Twitter Names Woman to Board
- NSA Tracks 5 Billion Cellphone Records a Day
- Nelson Mandela Dead at 95
- Pope Francis Says He'll Fight Child Sex Abuse
- Yemen Attack Kills 52
- Fast-Food Workers Want $15 an Hour
- W.H. Corrects Itself on Unclegate
- Roybal-Allard Tours Gordon Brush Plant
- Aspen Contracting Adding 300 Jobs