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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

VMT Fee, Transportation, Financing

Abstract

State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) today are seeking financing alternatives so that transportation infrastructure investments can become less dependent on the amount of fuel U.S. drivers consume. Because the fuel tax is no longer viewed as a sustainable and stable option, other financing alternatives are being considered. One such alternative includes the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee. Examples of such VMT fee alternatives include: 1) collection using an onboard diagnostic system (OBD), 2) collection at the fuel pump using an OBD in conjunction with GPS technology, and 3) collection at a vehicle inspection station using the OBD.

This proposed research has two primary objectives: 1) to conduct a comparative review of VMT fee alternatives and their data collection methods, payment collection processes, expected costs and revenues, and anticipated challenges; and 2) to examine the suitability of these VMT fee alternative for consideration in Massachusetts. The major results and conclusions are the fuel tax, if increased and reviewed annually, is a viable short term solution and that a VMT fee should be considered further as part of a long term strategy. It is expected that the results of this research will be of interest to Federal and State DOT personnel and policy makers.

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Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Collura, John
Gao, Song