July 15, 2024
Utah Department of Transportation Launches GPS-Based Road Usage Charging Pilot Program

The Utah Department of Transportation, in collaboration with ETAN Tolling Technology and ClearRoad, is launching the Local Road Usage Charging and Tolling Integration Pilot to test a new method of charging drivers for their road usage. The pilot program will use GPS technology to monitor vehicles’ locations and bill owners based on their road usage. This initiative is scheduled to begin before the end of the year and will run for six months with approximately 100 volunteers participating.

The test will take place in medium-sized cities, including Ogden, St. George, Saratoga Springs, and South Jordan, with populations ranging from about 50,000 to less than 100,000 people. The project is funded by a federal grant.

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Utah already has a Road Usage Charge program specifically for electric vehicles (EVs). EV owners can voluntarily enroll in the program or pay a flat fee of $130.25 for 2023. Participants install a device into their vehicle’s OBD port and set up an account on an app, with the charge being one cent per mile on top of the flat fee.

The integration of GPS technology in the pilot program adds precision to the existing road usage charge by accurately tracking where people drive. It enables the state to bill drivers appropriately, such as for toll roads. Additionally, the system will detect when drivers use locally-owned roads, allowing revenue allocation to the correct municipality responsible for maintaining that specific highway.

The aim of this pilot program is to unify different forms of road pricing, including tolling, local road usage charging, and distance-based road usage charges, into a single account management and billing system. This will provide participants with a more seamless experience and optimize payment methods and wallet management for road use charging programs.

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ClearRoad, which previously worked on Oregon’s OReGO road use charging program and partnered on a pilot program for testing congestion charges in Bogota, Columbia, will be involved in this project.

The results of the feasibility study will determine whether the Utah Department of Transportation will implement this new road usage charging program for drivers in the state. The goal is to gather valuable insights and technology options to inform a final report to be provided to the Federal Highway Administration at the end of the pilot, approximately a year from its commencement.

Featured Image Credit: www.motor1.com

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