Big Islands Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Road Usage Charge
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) will hold three community meetings on the Big Island to get public feedback on the concept of a road usage charge (RUC) to fund upkeep of roadways and bridges.
HAWAI‘I ISLAND 2019
Tuesday, April 9: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Natural Energy Lab, Kona
Wednesday, April 10: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Waimea School STEAM Center, Waimea
Thursday, May 9: TBA, check hiruc.org
Hawai‘i Island residents can also provide input and ask questions via an online community meeting on Thursday, April 18. More information about all meetings will be available on the project website.
“The reality is fuel tax revenue, which provides a third of state highways funding, continues to decrease as cars become more fuel efficient,” said Ed Sniffen, HDOT deputy director for highways. “We need to look at a long-term replacement for the gas tax that is sustainable and fair to all road users.”
In an RUC system, vehicle owners pay for actual miles driven versus a gasoline tax system where owners pay by the amount of fuel their vehicle consumes. Hawai‘i is one of a dozen states including California and Oregon that is investigating whether the switch to a pay-per-mile-driven charge is feasible and how it might be implemented.
Hawai‘i’s study looks at a RUC system as a revenue neutral replacement to the current 16-cents-per-gallon state fuel tax. As a part of this study, important factors such as sustainability, fairness, information and privacy protection, and other topics will be addressed.
The scheduled meetings are important to share information with Hawai‘i residents about road usage charges and gather community feedback.
Eleven more community meetings will be held across the state.
Friday, March 22: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Wilcox Elementary Cafeteria, Lihue)
Saturday, March 23: 10:30 AM–12:30 p.m. at Koloa Neighborhood Center, Koloa
Monday, March 25: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Lahaina Intermediate School Cafeteria, Lahaina
Tuesday, March 26, Prince Kuhio Day: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Baldwin High School, Wailuku
Wednesday, March 27 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Pā‘ia Community Center, Pā‘ia
Tuesday, April 2: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Kaunakakai Elementary School Cafeteria, Kaunakakai
Thursday, April 4: 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Lāna‘i Community Center, Lāna‘i City
The Hawai‘i Road Usage Charge Demonstration is a three-year project to investigate the use of a per-mile fee to fund upkeep of roads and bridges instead of a system where drivers pay at the pump. The demonstration will allow Hawaii drivers to experience what a road usage charge (RUC) system could be like and provide their feedback, opinions, questions, and concerns to Hawaii Department of Transportation. More information is available on the website.