Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 24, 2024

 

 

 

 

Rising Gas Prices

 

This is one of those “every action causes an equal and opposite reaction” stories. When, or if,
California actually has no gas-powered vehicles on its roads by 2035, how will CalTrans fix those
roads? Currently, the state’s gas tax pays for filling pot holes, repaving, etc. its 51,326 miles of
highways.

Even if the state doesn’t reach its 2035 goal, that tax revenue is already threatened by more
fuel-efficient cars and trucks and the growing popularity of electric vehicles. But, CalTrans is
developing alternate income streams; one of them—a road charge—was presented by Justine
Kokx, CalTrans’ transportation planner, at Tuesday’s Inyo Board of Supervisors meeting.

CalTrans is launching a pilot study to test the road charge concept and is asking for volunteers
while dangling a $250 carrot to sweeten the deal. Here’s how the pilot study works:

Participants will have a plug-in device and mobile app installed in their vehicles. During the
seven-month trial period (March to September), the device will log the miles driven as well as
the roadways travelled on. The data “will be saved and stored securely through a third-party
account manager and vehicle location-specific data will be sanitized.” In other words, where the
car goes is not shared.

The reaction of the Supervisors ranged from Supervisor Jennifer Roeser not liking the
“enforcement piece” (there is no enforcement in the pilot study) to Supervisor Scott Marcellin,
who liked it and Supervisor Matt Kingsley who indicated he’d sign up.

Those interested in the “up to” $250 reward while having their mileage tracked can go to
www.caroadcharge.com for more information.