The Hawaii Department of Transportation will hold 14 community meetings across the state to get public feedback on the concept of a road usage charge to fund upkeep of roadways and bridges. Community meetings are currently scheduled for the following dates and times on Hawai`i Island:H
- Tuesday, April 9 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Natural Energy Lab, Kona)
- Wednesday, April 10 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Waimea School STEAM Center, Waimea)
- Thursday, May 9 (TBA, check hiruc.org)
Additional meetings are being held statewide.
Hawaii residents can also provide input and ask questions via an online community meeting on Thursday, April 18. More information about all meetings will be available on the project website.
“The reality is fuel tax revenue, which provides a third of state highways funding, continues to decrease as cars become more fuel efficient,” said Ed Sniffen, HDOT deputy director for Highways. “We need to look at a long-term replacement for the gas tax that is sustainable and fair to all road users.”
In an RUC system, vehicle owners pay for actual miles driven versus a gasoline tax system where owners pay by the amount of fuel their vehicle consumes. Hawaii is one of a dozen states including California and Oregon that is investigating whether the switch to a pay-per-mile-driven charge is feasible and how it might be implemented.
Hawaii’s study looks at a RUC system as a revenue neutral replacement to the current 16 cents per gallon state fuel tax. As a part of this study, important factors such as sustainability, fairness, information and privacy protection, and other topics will be addressed.
The scheduled meetings are important to share information with Hawaii residents about road usage charges and gather community feedback, according to DOT officials.