Switching Gears: A New Way to Fund Transportation

Full Video Now Available from Forum on Vehicle-Miles Traveled Fee

The Rockefeller Institute of Government and Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) recently hosted “Switching Gears: A New Way to Fund Transportation,” a presentation and expert panel discussion at the Rockefeller Institute exploring the possibility of a vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) fee in New York State.

A VMT fee collects revenue from road users for each mile they travel to help fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvements. The presentation by CBC Senior Research Associate Patrick Orecki, which accompanied a CBC report released the same day, drew on lessons from VMT pilot programs in other states to project what a similar program in New York might look like, including questions of technology, rate-setting, and administration. He offered five recommendations:

1. Pursue a phased-in approach.

2. Maintain flexibility to accommodate new technology.

3. Execute a clear rate-setting process to minimize driver confusion.

4. Vary rates by location, vehicle type, and time.

5. Use a VMT as an addition to existing funding sources rather than a replacement.

Read the full CBC report.

The forum was moderated by Patricia Strach, director for policy and research at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, with an introduction by CBC President Andrew Rein. The presentation was followed by an expert panel discussion and Q&A about the merits, challenges, and mechanisms of a VMT fee. The panelists included:

+ Kendra Hems, president, Trucking Association of New York

+ Patricia Hendren, executive director, I-95 Corridor Coalition

+ Robert Megna, senior vice chancellor and chief operating officer, SUNY

+ Michael Warren, principal consultant, WSP

View a full video and photos of the event below.