This research project evaluates alternatives to motor fuel taxation and recommends an innovative approach to financing surface transportation with three major elements: (1) A comprehensive evaluation framework and approach for decision making on revenue sources, which provides a means of evaluating alternative revenue sources, including their major attributes, the tradeoffs between the sources, and the sensitivity of the choice of revenue sources to different contingencies or scenarios; (2) A systematic methodology for developing scenarios of critical importance to the choice of revenue sources, which include consideration of alternative types of fuel, alternative levels of development in the technologies for monitoring vehicle miles of travel (VMT), alternative levels of fuel efficiency, alternative levels of travel demand management and VMT, and alternative levels of reliance on fuel taxes to support non-transportation programs; and (3) A new "contract" or "compact" approach between transportation agencies and their customers, in which revenue sources are related to achieving benefits for the customers in terms of mobility, environmental, and economic impacts. The new contract approach involves monitoring the performance of programs by using the new Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) management systems. Major conclusions of this research project are as follows: (1) Motor fuel taxes will remain important components of state and federal surface transportation revenues for at least the next three decades; (2) Fees or taxes based on VMT (including congestion pricing) have desirable attributes, but their implementation depends on political acceptability and technological developments; (3) Rather than seek to replace motor fuel taxes precipitously, agencies should seek a smooth transition to alternative sources by phasing in promising new sources as elements of revenue programs; (4) The development of monitoring technologies for VMT fees, emissions-based fees, or congestion pricing can be fostered by transportation agencies; and Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS) and research programs should address revenue collection issues; and (5) Demonstration of the evaluation framework should be a high priority applied research, and can be a key project in helping transportation agencies to achieve the mobility, environmental, and economic goals of the customers they serve.

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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Reno, A T
    • Stowers, J R
  • Publication Date: 1995


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 164 p.
  • Serial:
    • NCHRP Report
    • Issue Number: 377
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0077-5614
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00721404
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 030905706X
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Project 20-24(7) FY '92
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 8 1996 12:00AM