Over a period of three years (2019 – 2021), the HiRUC project carried out three ways to collect feedback to understand community preferences and perspectives. These formed the recommendations in the Final Report.
1. Open-to-the-public Community Meetings
To understand the unique circumstances and perspectives of Hawaii’s different communities, open-to-the-public meetings were held on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai from March to May 2019. In all, 14 in-person community meetings and one virtual meeting were held.
Frequent topics voiced included:
- Concerns about the impact of a road usage charge on rural residents and long-distance commuters
- Suggestions to raise more road funds from visitors
- Doubts whether a road usage charge would replace the gas tax
- Questions about how a road usage charge would work
2. Driving Reports
Driving reports compared an individual’s current gas taxes to what he or she would pay with a road usage charge. These served to understand reactions and questions to a road usage charge (pay per mile driven).
View Feedback from HiRUC Final Report, Apendices A1 – A6
“What we Learned About Public Acceptance of HiRUC”
It was sent to over 350,000 people who collectively drove nearly 3 billion miles. However, all individuals were encouraged to respond to a survey found on the HiRUC website or mailed to them at their request.
11% of the 359,969 responded to the survey. 86% of survey respondents preferred to report mileage using the odometer reading collected at their annual vehicle (safety) inspection. 10% preferred a plug-in device that reports mileage without any action from the driver and four percent preferred OdoFoto (photo of mileage taken with a smart phone).
Electric vehicle (EV) drivers represented 5% of the individuals who received drivers reports.
3. Technology Test Drive
In the last stage of the demonstration project, 1,896 drivers across the state volunteered to test three technology methods to report mileage:
- Plug-in Device with GPS
- Plug-In Device without GPS
Volunteers from all four counties participated:
316 from Big Island, 1,294 from Honolulu, 109 from Kauai and 177 from Maui. Together they drove 4,095,994 miles during the technology test drive from July 2020 through January 2021.
60% of the technology test drive volunteers elected to pilot the OdoFoto reporting method, 30% the plug-in device with GPS, and 10% the plug-in device without GPS.
80% of the vehicles involved were powered with gasoline, 1% percent with diesel, 7% were hybrid, 2% were plug-in EV and 6% percent were EV.
A Help Desk (phone and email) was available throughout the project and 228 emails and 251 phone calls were received.