New Jersey pilot program tests alternative to gas tax


TRENTON, NJ (WPVI) — A new pilot program asks New Jersey drivers to track their mileage to explore a new way to fund roads and bridges.

Officials are studying whether a mileage-based charge would work better than a state gasoline tax.

“This is a data-gathering exercise,” said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. “No decisions are made for New Jersey on how we will fund transportation. But without data, we can’t make good decisions.”

And to get that data, about 400 drivers plug in a small device under their dash to track distance travelled.

There is an option that would allow GPS or a mileage only option.

Drivers plug this little device under their dash to track distance travelled. It’s all part of the New Jersey pilot program.

For three months, the miles will be counted, then the device will be returned.

Volunteers can earn up to $100 and they will find out their final mileage total.

“They will understand the difference that if they had paid fuel tax, they would have paid one amount. If they had paid mileage-based user fees, they would have paid the other,” Gutierrez said. Scaccetti.

Drivers interested in volunteering can Click here.

Volunteers must register by midnight August 31st.

New Jersey officials say that as electric vehicles grow in popularity, a mileage-based fee may be more reliable for funding and repairing roads and bridges.

The commissioner said several states are already using mileage-based user fees on a voluntary basis.

SEE ALSO: New Jersey Gasoline Tax to Drop One Penny Per Gallon October 1

Reviews were mixed when Action News asked drivers about the idea.

“I think it would probably be a good idea if you don’t travel too much,” said Dale Donnelly of Willingboro, who said she would likely benefit from a mileage-based system.

“They’re encroaching too much on our business and I think it’s going to end up costing a lot more,” said Elizabeth Powers of Riverside, who would rather stick with a gas tax.

“I’m an Instacart employee, so I drive a lot. So if I pay per mile, I’ll pay a lot more money,” said Bernard Savage of Burlington.

Officials stress that this is still in the exploratory phase.

A law had to be passed and a bill signed by the governor for anything to become official.

Data from this pilot program should be available early next year.

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