HiRUC is a community outreach and demonstration project. It is looking at how Hawaii could pay for the safety, upkeep, and improvement of our roads in the future. Like other states, Hawaii’s gas tax will not be a reliable source of road funding as people drive more fuel efficient cars and buy less gas. A road usage charge (RUC) is one promising approach for paying for roads, based on the number the miles you drive. HiRUC includes many opportunities for public involvement. Read about community meetings held in spring 2019, share your feedback, volunteer to be a test driver, or drop us a line.
Why do we need a new way to pay for our roads?
Currently, a tax on the gas you buy funds our road safety, upkeep and improvement. Soon, that won’t be enough.
Automakers are making more efficient cars and trucks, resulting in less gas usage. Hawaii is a leader in purchases of these more efficient cars and trucks, and no doubt you’ve seen more electric, hybrid and maybe even hydrogen- powered cars on the road.
As Hawaii moves towards clean energy with the goal of 100 percent renewables by 2045, the transition to more efficient vehicles will accelerate to align with our state and county environmental sustainability goals.
Hawaii wants the community’s input on what a road usage charge to pay for our roads could look like.
HiRUC is a 36-month demonstration project.
START. Project Inception, 2018
HDOT was awarded $4 million from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct a public demonstration of a road usage charge system. This three-year project will allow Hawaii drivers to experience what a RUC system will be like. The demonstration will help HDOT understand how people feel about RUC and what their concerns are. Public participation and feedback will help guide development of future funding options.
Driving Report, 2019 – 2020
VEHICLE OWNERS RECEIVE DRIVING REPORT.
Customized simulated invoice distributed by mail. Invoice will estimate how much each vehicle owner might have paid in RUC compared to gas taxes.
Recruit Volunteers, 2020
The HiRUC research team will be conducting surveys of drivers and inviting their direct feedback on potential tools for the system. Feedback will help HDOT and policymakers better understand what drivers would prefer in a RUC system. Approximately 2,000 volunteers, statewide, will be recruited to test various technologies and reporting methods.
Technology Test Drive, 2021
A second part of the demonstration project features volunteers testing new ways to report mileage including submitting an odometer photo via smartphone app, or using in-vehicle technology, such as mileage-meters.
PROJECT COMPLETION. Evaluate/Analyze, 2021
• Summarize driver’s experience and stakeholder’s feed back.
• Recommend possible ways to do RUC in Hawaii.
• Report to Legislature.