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21 Table 5. Comparison of capital and operating costs between toll-collection systems. Video AVI GPS Corridor length 10-mile 1000-mile 10-mile 1000-mile 10-mile 1000-mile % of revenues 151% 14% 111% 10% 53% 12% VMT (000) $2,259 $225,930 $2,259 $225,930 $2,259 $225,930 Source: HDR, Comparing Administrative Costs of Collecting Highway Revenues: Fuel Tax vs. Direct User Charge, Prepared for the Office of Economic and Strategic Analysis, U.S. Department of Transportation, February 2009 model that was used to forecast toll-collection costs and rev- 2.3 VMT Fees enues over 20 years. The analysis included both capital costs for implementation and operating and maintenance (O&M) VMT fees can be implemented in a variety of ways. They can costs. The model was based on a 10-mile corridor and a be limited to specific areas or facilities or they can be compre- 1,000-mile corridor, with three lanes in each direction and hensive. They can be collected based on simple odometer read- tolling points every 20 miles. The cost data for that study were ings or calculated based on careful evaluation of all travel done derived from seven toll systems, including the I-394 project in by a vehicle. They can be a flat fee for each mile driven or can be Minnesota and proposed projects in California, Georgia, and varied by time of day, class of road, geographic area, or direction Florida. The study also looked at video-based, AVI-based, and of travel. It may even be feasible to set separate prices for each GPS-based systems for toll collection (Office of Economic lane of a road. They can be the same for all vehicles or varied and Strategic Analysis, 2009). based on vehicle characteristics. That analysis did not find much variation in the initial The simplest type is a flat fee or charge that is based on the capital costs related to these toll-collection systems. As a number of vehicle miles driven. Where vehicles are driven result, toll collection and administrative costs were identical outside of the jurisdiction levying the charge, there will likely with respect to VMT over 20 years (Table 5). Although video- have to be a method to determine where the miles were driven. based tolling was more expensive to operate over the 1,000- Charging for all VMT could be viewed as unfair for those with mile corridor (14% of revenues), it did not differ substantially substantial travel in other jurisdictions, and if multiple juris- from the methods using AVI (10%) and GPS (12%). For the dictions impose charges, there will be concern about the allo- 10-mile corridor, the video and AVI methods were cost pro- cation of revenue. Under fuel taxes, the state tax on gasoline is hibitive, with the capital and operating costs exceeding the collected based on the location of the service station. This revenues. However, this analysis did find that GPS-based sys- works reasonably well for people on long trips since they are tems were less expensive to operate over a 10-mile corridor likely to purchase gas in some proportion to the miles driven (53% of revenues) than the other two methods in that cor- in each state. However, people who live in one state and work ridor (HDR, 2009). in a bordering state may have substantial use of roads in a state where they seldom purchase fuel. For diesel use by heavy vehicles, the tax is allocated under the IFTA based on where Comparative Analysis of Tolling Practices the vehicle is operated rather than where fuel is purchased. Outside of the United States A report presented at the 2006 Conference on Road Charg- 2.3.1 Prices Set to Improve Management ing Systems in Paris studied a number of European and Asian of the Road System toll and cordon facilities. The Austrian, German, and Swiss sys- tems use tolls to raise funds for financing highway operations VMT charges can be varied based on level of congestion, and expansion in addition to congestion management. The class of road, road damage done by the vehicle, or pollution other three systems (London, Stockholm, and Singapore) are and other externalities generated by the vehicle. Such charges cordon tolling systems designed to cut congestion in CBDs. are fairly rare, but there is growing interest in using the price For the tolling systems, capital and operating costs as a per- system to better manage the road system (CBO, 2009). cent of revenues ranged from 8% in Switzerland to 23% in The economically efficient set of charges would generate Germany. Capital and operating costs as a percent of total incentives for the most efficient use of the road system, but revenues for cordon pricing programs ranged from 40% in there are complications and trade-offs. Perhaps the most Stockholm and Singapore to 55% in London (Table 6) (Oery important complication is that the efficient prices may not gen- and Trans, 2006). erate the appropriate amount of revenue. For cars and other