Eric Pryne had more on electronic mileage charges for vehicles, as a substitute for gas taxes, in yesterday’s Seattle Times. The fundamental forces behind this trend-advances in engine and information technology-will ultimately transform how Cascadians pay to drive, as we’ve been pointing out since 1996. The ultimate potential of this shift is a set of related breakthroughs: pay-as-you-drive insurance, congestion pricing, pay-as-you-drive vehicle registration and taxes, and pollution taxes. Together, such changes could slash driving rates, save northwesterners gobs of money, strengthen our regional economy, and help clean the air.
What’s encouraging is that Cascadia is rapidly approaching real-world experience, if only on a pilot-project scale, with such electronic road-charging, both in Eugene and Seattle.