writes in the News & Observer in North Carolina, the problem is that people are are driving more miles every year, but they’re buying less gas.
Although better fuel economy sounds great for the pocketbook and good for the planet, it spells trouble for our long-term reliance on gas-tax money to finance transit and highway needs.
After spending more than it takes in for several years, the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money for road projects by 2009.
So, as part of a $16.5 million nationwide study over the next two years, 450 Triangle drivers will help road-test a new way to pay for transportation — by the mile, not by the gallon.
Replacing the fuel tax with a mileage fee would be a long-range idea — and possibly a long shot.
Long shot or not, the issue of how to pay for state and federal roads does not to seem to going away any way soon.
See also New Technology for an Old Dilemma by Paul Sorensen and Brian Taylor