Questions and Answers
What is a road charge?
Replacing California's gas tax
Road Charge is an alternative funding mechanism that allows drivers to support road and highway maintenance based on how many miles they drive, instead of how many gallons of gas they use. Just like you pay your gas and electric bills based on how much of these utilities you use, a road charge - also called a mileage-based user fee - is a fair and sustainable way to fund road maintenance, preservation, and improvements for all Californians. Instead of paying the state’s gas tax, which disproportionately impacts those who cannot afford more fuel-efficient vehicles, everyone would pay a per-mile fee for how much they use the road, regardless of what kind of car they drive.Learn more about road charge
How is transportation funded now?
A funding system first approved in 1923
On average, Californians pay about $280 a year in state gas taxes that are charged at the pump when a driver buys gas. This money helps keep both local roads and state highways in good repair. Other state fees also fund transportation, and some counties also charge a local sales tax to further invest in road and transit needs.Learn more about transportation funding
Why is California studying road charge?
A more sustainable way to fund our roads
As Californians switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles, they buy less gas and pay less gas tax. This means less and less funding to maintain our transportation system. California is leading the way on developing new and innovative ways to move around the state; we need a modern transportation funding system to replace the gas tax that can adapt to and keep up with our state’s changing needs.Learn more about California's projects
Why not just continue to raise the gas tax?
California needs a modern transportation funding system
California leads the nation when it comes to driving more fuel-efficient and zero-emission cars. That’s a good thing! However, because these cars consume less or no gas at all, funding highway and road repairs based on a gas tax no longer works. Even if we keep increasing the gas tax, with fewer Californians buying gas the funding will eventually disappear. California needs to replace the gas tax with a funding system that supports our state’s transportation future.Learn more about California’s gas tax history
California road facts
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In DepthRecent News
Mileage-based User Fees in Pennsylvania
A recent report from Pennsylvania’s Transportation Revenue Options Commission shows a mileage-based user fee could serve as a viable option for long-term transportation funding.Read more
Road Charge Research
A large body of research has been done on various mileage-based user fees across the U.S. and around the world. Explore the database of research on this topic at the Mineta Transportation Institute.Read more
Read the Road Charge Pilot Program report
California completed the largest road charge research project in the nation, piloting more than 5,000 vehicles that reported in excess of 37 million miles.Read more