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  • Pay by the Mile, Not by the Gallon

    It's gaining some traction and those whom don't mind more guv'mint intrusions might think it's a splendid idea. Definitely worth talking about;
    To Save Our Infrastructure, Make Every Road a Toll Road
    https://www.wired.com/story/gas-tax-vmt-toll-road/

  • #2
    I'm a big fan of toll roads... for the same reason I'm a big opponent of net neutrality.
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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    • #3
      This would disproportionately hit rural and low population states really hard. One on the best things about the US is that the population is mobile. Toll roads and high fuel prices would make mobility far more difficult.

      As odd as it sounds, in Arizona people often commute 30 to 75 miles one way to work. That's the rough equivalent of driving from the northern suburbs of Chicago to the south side. A toll one way could amount to an hour's pay or more for many people. That might force them to live and play near where they work rather than have the flexibility to go where they'd like.

      It would also raise the cost of goods as trucking would become more expensive, and I doubt current takes on commercial vehicles would go away to make the cost remain constant.

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      • #4
        You know that's not too bad from my pov, and I live in a rural location that has insane commuter traffic that literally destroys the road. From 1500 to 1800 the road is so packed with commuters zipping by so packed and so fast that getting out of the driveway is really difficult. We're talking about hundreds of cars per hour.

        It used to be a quiet back road when only the locals knew about it...
        Credo quia absurdum.


        Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          This would disproportionately hit rural and low population states really hard. One on the best things about the US is that the population is mobile. Toll roads and high fuel prices would make mobility far more difficult.

          As odd as it sounds, in Arizona people often commute 30 to 75 miles one way to work. That's the rough equivalent of driving from the northern suburbs of Chicago to the south side. A toll one way could amount to an hour's pay or more for many people. That might force them to live and play near where they work rather than have the flexibility to go where they'd like.

          It would also raise the cost of goods as trucking would become more expensive, and I doubt current takes on commercial vehicles would go away to make the cost remain constant.
          So long as the toll/tax for miles replaces the taxes on fuels, maybe ...

          What article and proponents tend to overlook is that even if one doesn't drive a vehicle, they still benefit from the paved road grid. First it does make possible emergency services to get around effectively. Then there is the huge volume of commerce provided by trucking. This looks to be a device that will result in increased costs to consumers for the goods and services they need which have to come via roads.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
            So long as the toll/tax for miles replaces the taxes on fuels, maybe ...

            What article and proponents tend to overlook is that even if one doesn't drive a vehicle, they still benefit from the paved road grid. First it does make possible emergency services to get around effectively. Then there is the huge volume of commerce provided by trucking. This looks to be a device that will result in increased costs to consumers for the goods and services they need which have to come via roads.
            Include bicyclists in that tax farm. They use the roads as well...
            Credo quia absurdum.


            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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            • #7
              Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
              So long as the toll/tax for miles replaces the taxes on fuels, maybe ...

              What article and proponents tend to overlook is that even if one doesn't drive a vehicle, they still benefit from the paved road grid. First it does make possible emergency services to get around effectively. Then there is the huge volume of commerce provided by trucking. This looks to be a device that will result in increased costs to consumers for the goods and services they need which have to come via roads.
              I don't like the idea of the govt tracking everywhere I go, but I want to make a point about commercial trucking vs passenger cars. Living in Wyoming the biggest WYDOT budget item is I80 which has high truck traffic (up to 70 to 80% truck on certain stretches) of which over 80 percent has an origin and destination outside the state. A lot of goods headed from the east/midwest to California and vice versa. The heavy truck traffic requires much more robust, expensive pavement and base design. In my mind if out of state consumers are getting the most use (50 to 64% of total traffic) they should also bear the brunt of the cost via higher costs for those shipped goods.

              A road that sees little semi truck traffic and high passenger cars including pickups can be designed for a much lower cost per mile than roads with heavier truck traffic yet lower daily traffic.

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              • #8
                Trying to pass a bill Obama created doesn't sound like a good idea.

                Cost of gas continues to go up, housing, imports, taxes and now basic travel? No thanks.
                "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
                - Benjamin Franklin

                The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

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                • #9
                  Tolls are inefficient and cumbersome. When I drove on the French motorways a few years back it seemed like we had to stop every hour or so to go through a toll.

                  If you are going to have a usage based tax simplest is to tax fuel. Double benefit of reducing mileage and promoting more fuel efficient driving/cars. Even my SUV gets c45 miles to the gallon on average.
                  "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                  • #10
                    Not sure how roads are funded in the states, but in Aus, it's fuel exise, i.e. Petrol tax. If electric cars gain critical mass, then the electric car users will get a free ride compared to the chumps driving gas guzzlers. Wouldn't be surprised if they get some sort of pay by the kilometre scheme.
                    One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

                    "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
                    Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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                    • #11
                      I would kinda thought that people from USA would have been against government tracking and followng their cars continuously. Given how the electronic toll systems work ain't that the exact direction were that route would take you?
                      It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                        Tolls are inefficient and cumbersome. When I drove on the French motorways a few years back it seemed like we had to stop every hour or so to go through a toll.

                        If you are going to have a usage based tax simplest is to tax fuel. Double benefit of reducing mileage and promoting more fuel efficient driving/cars. Even my SUV gets c45 miles to the gallon on average.

                        I don't even have to slow down...

                        https://www.ntta.org/Pages/mobile/index.html

                        My NTTA toll tag also works for parking at Dallas Love Field airport and on Houston area toll roads.

                        Dallas and Houston toll roads have no toll booths. If you don't have a toll tag, you get a bill in the mail.
                        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                        • #13
                          The system suggested here would vary the charge depending on congestion so someone driving on relatively clear country roads would pay less than someone driving on a heavily congested urban road at peak time.

                          Part of the idea is that it would encourage people to plan their journeys if possible to avoid congested periods and therefore spread the traffic load out. Sat nav systems would also route drivers along less congested roads. One danger is trhat it would turn otherwise quiet residential roads into rat runs.
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                            The system suggested here would vary the charge depending on congestion so someone driving on relatively clear country roads would pay less than someone driving on a heavily congested urban road at peak time.

                            Part of the idea is that it would encourage people to plan their journeys if possible to avoid congested periods and therefore spread the traffic load out. Sat nav systems would also route drivers along less congested roads. One danger is trhat it would turn otherwise quiet residential roads into rat runs.
                            That's how most of the newer toll roads in the Dallas and Houston areas work. Toll rates go up and down with traffic volume. The alternate routes are usually other highways or 4-lane major streets.

                            When we visited the UK in 2006, our hand-held Nav device took us on some very odd routes in and around Bath, including a dirt road through what looked like a wheat field. It's always good to have a map handy...
                            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                              That's how most of the newer toll roads in the Dallas and Houston areas work. Toll rates go up and down with traffic volume. The alternate routes are usually other highways or 4-lane major streets.

                              When we visited the UK in 2006, our hand-held Nav device took us on some very odd routes in and around Bath, including a dirt road through what looked like a wheat field. It's always good to have a map handy...
                              Hand held nav devices were designed for pedestrians! We get a problem round where I live with truck drivers using car sat nav devices because they're cheaper and then getting routed down very narrow and unsuitable roads and sometimes getting stuck. On a trip to France some years ago my nav device packed up a few miles after leaving the tunnel and I couldn't find anywhere that sold maps until I got to Arras. I had to navigate from the names of WW1 battle areas and road signs and village names. I always carry maps now.

                              The first sat nav device I used was in a hire car back in the 90s and it became totally confused in Washington DC
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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