The Oregon Department of Transportation unveiled the statewide road usage charge program, OReGO, Friday. The program is meant to make up for lost gas tax revenue from drivers of fuel-efficient and electric cars.
ODOT can start now start recruiting 5,000 drivers for a voluntary trial run that’s slated to start in July. Through the OReGO website, Oregon drivers can request more information about the program.
Participants will pay 1.5 cents per mile while driving on public streets and highways, using either GPS tracking, or a device that doesn’t use GPS. The mileage information will be automatically submitted to the Oregon Treasury.
During the test period, drivers will continue to pay the fuel tax. But they will document how many miles they drive, how much fuel they buy at Oregon gas stations and how much they pay. At the end, they’ll get either a bill or a rebate check to offset money spent on the state gas tax.
The rate will eventually be adjusted for heavier vehicles that would be putting more wear on the roads, like trucks or cars driving during rush-hour. ODOT is still trying to figure out how to account for out-of-state drivers.
Ultimately, the state hopes to regain some lost gas tax revenues to cover road maintenance costs.