APRIL 6, 2019


HDOT’s Vehicle Miles Traveled Proposal Is Unfair to the People of West Oahu

by Rep. Cedric Asuega Gates

I am urging West O?ahu residents to make their voices heard at two upcoming meetings about the proposed Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) initiative being conducted by the Hawai?i Department of Transportation (HDOT).

The HDOT is looking into the concept of a road usage charge system to generate more funds for road maintenance. I want to clarify that I am against this road usage charge system. The road usage charge system would charge individuals a tax that would correspond with how many miles they drive each year. Because they drive so far every day, the residents of the Wai‘anae coast would have to pay the highest fees for this new road usage charge system.

The state’s VMT plan would end a fuel tax of 16 cents a gallon on drivers and instead charge them on how much they drive. The state says because there is less revenue coming in as more electric vehicles use the roads, an alternative way to collect money must be found to help fund the upkeep of roadways and bridges.

Another issue I object to in the proposal is that it creates a lump sum charge.

Sixteen cents distributed over each gallon is more manageable than a fee of hundreds of dollars you would have to pay at once, especially with the current cost of living. II support the intent of trying to balance the deficit in funding for our roads, but this is not the way to do it.”

The HDOT was awarded $4 million from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct a public demonstration of a road usage charge system.

As part of the study, drivers can provide their feedback, questions, and concerns to transportation officials at public meetings. For more information and community meeting locations go to https://hiruc.org/.

O?ahu Meetings:

  • April 16 (location TBA, check hiruc.org)
  • April 17 (location TBA, check hiruc.org)

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