This is the Spring 2017 issue of MBUFA's e-Newsletter. Please use the links below to jump directly to articles and departments of interest. We welcome any comments and suggestions as well as contributions (news, features or links to recent research) for upcoming issues.

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The response to the requests for proposals  for the next round (2017) of $20M Section 6020 grants (the " Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives" program)  are due by June 12, 2017, according to the Federal Highway Administration.  The guidelines for these funds are similar to the first awards in 2016,  requiring matching funds of 50% from the states.  The program requires that applicants must be a  state department of transportation.  In the case of multiple states applying as part of a regional pilot, one state must serve as the lead.
It is expected that FHWA will allow for "expected funds" as a match since legislatures  providing the match money may not have finished the legislation at the time that applications will be due.
The first round of awards for Fiscal Year 2016 provided $14.2 million  for eight different projects to study user-based revenue models for maintaining the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Awards were given to California, Oregon, the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium of 14 states;  Delaware and the I-95 Corridor Coalition; Hawaii, Minnesota, Washington, and Missouri.
As in the previous awards, FHWA is urging potential grant applicants with any questions to contact them. with any questions.  If anyone requires this information, please contact

The STSFA grants are the most significant commitment to studying user based transportation funding options to date. 

The Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance will continue follow these projects closely and report to its Members as information becomes available.

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As Oregon continues to move forward quickly on the Orego Program and California is nearing the announcement of their recommendations, a lot of information is unfolding as related to mileage based user fees.
On June 21 MBUFA will hold a Quarterly Meeting in Washington, D.C. from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to
discuss these issues and highlight new areas to be considered:
-         Second Round of STSFA Grants at USDOT
-         New Private Sector Options
-         Updates on the Eight Pilots Funded by USDOT in 2016
-         New emerging issue of Trucks Paying Mileage Fees
-         Updates on both Congressional and Administration view on issue
We look forward to all Members joining us for this important meeting, and we allow any interested  party not yet a Member of MBUFA to attend one Quarterly Meeting to preview Membership.  If anyone requires this information, please contact
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Largest Road Charge Pilot Successfully Completed

The California Road Charge Pilot Program concluded on March 31, 2017 as the largest road charge pilot program of its kind. Spanning the live nine-month pilot period, participation remained steady with over 5,000 vehicles participating statewide driving over 37 million total miles.
Participants p ositively continued to report total miles driven in the pilot on a monthly basis, all while completing multiple surveys during major milestones of the pilot (pre-pilot, mid-pilot and final pilot surveys). The level of participant engagement remained consistently high with survey completion rates of over 60%.
Overall the pilot has received positive feedback from participants in regards to satisfaction rates. Based off the final pilot survey results, 85% of participants are satisfied with the pilot program overall and 90% would agree that they would participate in another road charge program in the f uture.  

Now that the pilot is over, C altrans and the project delivery team are in the process of compiling data, which will be followed up with a  more in-depth analysis for the final report. CalSTA will submit a final findings re port to the policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature, the California Transportation Commission, and the Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee in July 2017, followed by the CTC providing recommendations to the Legislature in their annual report no lat er than December 2017. It is at this time the Legislature will decide on what's next for road charge.
Visit the program website for pilot conclusion information and final report status updates at

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(Editor's note: The following article excerpt is part of  the public outreach effort by Washington State Transportation Commission, written by Reema Griffith, Executive Director)
It's time for Washingtonians to take a test drive
Project on 'pay-by-mile' approach to fund transportation infrastructure seeks volunteers
Washington, along wi t h every state in the nation, utilizes a gas tax to provide a major source of funding for roads and bridges. It has been a reliable workhorse for decades, bu t its future sustainability is uncertain as vehicles become more fuel-efficient and alternative fuel sources emerge.
We all want to lower our costs of owning a car and many of us want to leave less of a mark on the environment. As gas consumption goes down - for all the right reasons - gas tax revenues also go down, which leads to less available funding to build and maintain critical transportation infrastructure.
Washington's gas tax was increased in 2016 to the current 49.4 cents per gallon to provide a much-needed infusion of funding to build many transportation projects across the state over the next 16 years. However, forecasts suggest that over the next 20 years, the average miles per gallon (mpg) of vehicles in the state will climb from the current 20.5 mpg to 35 mpg. This equates to a 45 percent reduction in our state's gas tax revenues per mile driven - a clear indication that we need to identify a new, viable funding source to ensure meeting our future transportation needs.
For these reasons our state, with several others across the country, is anticipating the potential for reduced gas tax revenue and assessing possible solutions to replace the gas tax in the future. One promising approach we've been exploring is a road usage charge which would charge drivers by the mile rather than by the gallon of gas. This approach would be similar to the way people pay for other public services like electricity, water and natural gas. Under a road usage charge system it won't matter what your car's mpg is or what fuel you use to power it because all cars would pay the same per-mile rate for using the roads. 
After over five years of study, we are ready for Washington drivers to put road-usage charging to the test. We want drivers to experience it first-hand and give us feedback on what works and what doesn't. We need people from all over the state to participate in the year-long pilot project beginning in early 2018 to ensure a broad spectrum of perspectives goes into shaping the outcome. We need drivers from urban areas and rural areas with different income levels and varying car types from old to new and from gas to electric. Drivers must be part of the solution and help identify a potential replacement for the gas tax - and the pilot project is all about making that happen.    
While a road usage charge holds a lot of promise for the future funding of transportation, it can certainly evoke concerns and confusion as it proposes a fundamental shift in how we pay for roads and bridges.

To learn more about the pilot project and sign up, please visit
Reema Griffith is executive director of the Washington State Transportation Commission.  Reach her at:
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Interview with Kevin Condon, CEO, Verdeva, Inc.  
How did you become interested in the issue of infrastructure financing and mileage based user fees?

Verdeva's approach starts with the question "How can a high-tech start-up can help solve major transportation policy challenges?" Crucial to an effective solution is marrying the smart technology  with a politically viable approach. Both are equally necessary components and central to our Efficient Vehicle Assessor  TM

Why did you focus on an "At the Pump" solution? 
Because the pump is where 260 million vehicles already funnel through, on more than a weekly basis, as they will for decades to come. The same system is designed to work at recharging stations, too.  A n "at the pump" solution is not only technically easier than other solutions, it is
  • Far less expensive on a per-vehicle basis, about 1/60th the cost of in-vehicle solutions.
  • Easier to deploy, using the private sector to connect 150,000 stations and recharging stations,  versus connecting and maintaining  individual mileage accounts for up to 260 million vehicles.
  • Politically easier.  The pump is where consumers expect to pay the gas tax and there's now no reason that has to change.
  • Low-cost to maintain. Collecting at the pump should be no more expensive than the costs of collecting other retail excise taxes, and much cheaper than maintaining millions of mileage accounts.
  • Less complicated for the consumer. Paying at the pump doesn't necessarily require mileage invoices, or require consumers choose between methods of payments.
  • A creative solution to other public policy challenges like reducing DMV costs by streamlining payment of vehicle fees
  • A way to provide popular consumer benefits for drivers.
How does it work? 
Using RFID technology at the gas station - paid for by the private sector - EVA identifies vehicles at fill-up time and matches specific vehicle cloud-based data.   EVA  interfaces with smart phones and existing POS systems at fuel retailers to enable simple "yes/no" transactions.  

How is the charge calculated?
 We use "Estimated Miles Driven" algorithms based on the individual vehicle's fuel consumption data. 
What are the advantages?
  • Simplicity. The road charge payment by the driver occurs at the same place it does now: at the gas pump, paid for by the private sector.  The overhead of this method is much closer to the low overhead of the current gas tax than are other approaches.
  • Privacy concerns. Just the suggestion of vehicle tracking makes an easy political target. The at-the-pump solution doesn't depend on GPS-tracking.
  • Creating Allies, Not Opposition
    The variable pricing versatility of the at-the-pump solution is designed to win over road charging skeptics, using environmental, rural equity, and socio--economic factors.
  • Compliance Apps:
    Invisible to the vast majority of motorists who are compliant, these apps can capture billions of dollars annually in lost revenues, offer trip insurance for uninsured vehicles (thereby lowering premiums for compliant drivers), installment payments on overdue fines, etc.
  • Reducing credit and debit card fraud at the pump. 
Has it been tested?
We have a multi-station pilot just starting in the Northeast to test the consumer apps. We hope states will step forward to work with us to incorporate an at-the-pump solution in STSFA pilots.  Adding test stations across the country to test the efficacy of this solution is not only feasible, it can be done relatively quickly.  
What is the biggest challenge facing an "At the Pump" solution?
Our biggest challenge is on the public policy side -- getting states to incorporate the solution in pilots that lead to deploying road-charging app on a large scale. STSFA provides a tremendous opportunity to do so. 

What do you see ahead for mileage charges?
The biggest hurdles remain political, not technical.  But the technology has to help eliminate the political hurdles, not increase them. 

For more information about Verdeva's Efficient Vehicle Assessor pilots, contact Kevin Condon at
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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT ON ClearRoad, Inc.ClearRoad
Interview with Frederic Charlier, CEO, Clear Road  

1.  Tell us about ClearRoad
ClearRoad, Inc. is a technology company based in NYC. It provides a mobility platform tailored for road pricing. Its solution enables account managers to operate road usage charging (RUC) seamlessly with their current system and operation team. Our goal is to remove the complexity of mileage reporting technologies and RUC certification with State DOTs from their core business - customer and billing management.
2.   Describe your nationwide pilot
We are conducting a nationwide pilot for transportation professionals and experts to experience what drivers using the OBD-II option  in the OReGO pilot in Oregon experience.
As a project manager for OReGO and an active member in MBUFA, I felt frustrated not knowing what it is like to be a RUC user. My only remedy was to wait for my State DOT to start its own pilot. As Julius Caesar said once "Experience is the teacher of all things." So, as a demonstration of Clear Road's technology, we have decided to build the first road usage charge trial available anywhere in the U.S.
3. Who are you targeting?
Transportation professionals are welcome to join the demonstration at any time. It provides a similar experience to the OReGO program using ODB-II dongle devices. Other reporting technologies will be added in the future.
The demonstration will walk participants through all the key steps of road usage charge program from the initial setup to the simulated invoices. We are targeting primarily MBUFA members, transportation experts or policy makers and do not envision to extend it to the general public for now. 
4. When are you planning to launch?
We expect the national road usage charge demonstration will open enrollment for MBUFA members in June 2017, and I encourages members to invite others from their organizations to join.  To sign up for more information, visit

Jack Basso, Chairman of MBUFA
By Jack Basso, Chair, MBUFA

CHAIRMAN'S LETTERChairmanSpring2017
Now is when the rubber meets the road for mileage based user fee programs.  The Federal Highway Administration has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity  (NOFO) for the second round of grants under the Surface Transportation Funding Alternatives program and the expectations are higher for states to show scale and viability.  

Can mileage based user fees live up to their promise as the best user based funding mechanism to sustainably fund the Highway Trust Fund going into the future?
The President has put in place a true expert in transportation issues in Secretary Chao and it will be our job as an organization to use these grants to answer the key questions surrounding mileage fees and make the case to the Secretary who has been charged by the President to play a key role in the development of major infrastructure  initiative in the coming months.  As it has always been, financing is at the center of what can be done to regenerate America's infrastructure.
For MBUFA, the message we have heard from the Hill and from the Executive Branch is to give them the information they desperately need.  We know from meetings with Committee staff and others that Congress nearly exhausted the options for funding the FAST Act.  We also know that the Senate, like the President, is beginning to develop the outline for a special infrastructure bill.
The FAST Act gave us the opportunity.  It is time for MBUFA members to take the wheel and meet the challenge.
Barb Rohde
By Barbara Rohde, Executive Director, MBUFA
Four New Members Join MBUFA in 2017/ Fourth Annual MBUFA Conference March 16/ Quarterly Meeting June 21 and Strategic Planning Meeting June 22 

2017 has started with great excitement for MBUFA!  New Memberships, an educational
conference hosted by the Embassy of New Zealand, and the second round of the STSFA grants announced for competition have all happened in this first months of the year. 
MBUFA is pleased to announce the four new members who have formally joined since the beginning of the year:
Illinois Department of Transportation

Washington State Transportation Commission
Clear Road, Inc.
American Public Transportation Association

In addition, on March 16 the Embassy of New Zealand hosted the Fourth Annual MBUFA Conference  in Washington, D.C.  Weather played a factor with a snowstorm prediction the day before,  keeping about 15 attendees at home. Nonetheless, over 85 registrants were able to make the trip and hear  presentations from the forty-year program currently operating in New Zealand, current upgrades being considered for MBUF technologies, updates from the pilot programs, the latest on the California pilot, the impact of the new Administration on MBUF, and a panel focused on further thoughts on MBUF "myth-busters" that are needed to move the issue forward.  

In addition, Alex Herrgott, Deputy Staff Director, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer both received  MBUFA awards.  The Honorable Tim Groser, Ambassador to the United States from New Zealand delighted attendees with background on  New Zealand and the current Road Charging program in operation.  Chairman Sam Graves, Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the U.S. House of Representatives also inspired attendees with his thoughts of a need to look at "every possible" revenue source to fund transportation in this nation.  The very packed day ended with a reception featuring New Zealand wines!
On April 13, FHWA announced the Second Round of STSFA application guidelines-which has produced many questions and also excitement what might be deployed in the nation with this round.  We are hearing of many interesting projects being considered, but will wait to hear  which projects will be included in the next phase.
The MBUFA Quarterly Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 21.  Further information will be sent soon on details of that meeting but the morning of  June 22nd the Board will host a  Strategic Planning Session to consider future initiatives for MBUFA.  We will encourage each Member organization to have one representative attend. 
Looking ahead, Congress is beginning debate on  new infrastructure proposals and financing to support those programs.  In addition, MBUFA is working on a Study Program to New Zealand for 2018 and a range of outreach items, including possible workshops late in 2017.

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June 21:  MBUFA Quarterly Meeting
9:00 am EDT - 4:00 pm EDT
1050 K Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 2001

September 18-20: Road Usage Charge Forum
Salem, Oregon
Oregon Department of Transportation, along with co-sponsors RUC West and AAMVA, will be hosting a Road Usage Charge Forum in Salem, Oregon this fall. 

The conference is designed to provide opportunities to network with others in the field, discuss interoperability, and learn about both the technical and business aspects of implementation. 

There will be two tracks. One is designed for those with an interest in technical matters such as certification and technology options for mileage reporting. The other track is for those with an interest in business matters, such as dealing with collection of public funds when it is an outsourced function, rate setting, public engagement and dealing with communication issues related to privacy and the impact on rural and urban populations. 

There will also be several sessions where all participants can discuss challenges and opportunities such as aligning DMV functions with road usage charging, outsourcing tax collection, and  public education. The sessions are designed for panels to present their views and engage the audience.

Some meals are included with the registration. Click to learn more.   For any questions please contact  or 

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RESEARCH LIBRARY  Summer2016Research


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JOIN MBUFASummer2016Join



American Public Transportation Association

Associated General Contractors of America

Association of Equipment Manufacturers



Cambridge Systematics

CDM Smith


Clear Road, Inc.

Colorado Contractors Association



Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc.

D'Artagnan Consulting

Delaware Department of Transportation



Hawaii Department of Transportation


Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

I-95 Corridor Coalition

Illinois Department of Transportation

Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS)

IBTTA (International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association)

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Nevada Department of Transportation

New York City Department of Transportation

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Nossaman, LLP

Oregon Department of Transportation

Reason Foundation

Southern California Association of Governments


Verdeva, Inc.

Verizon Telematics

Washington Department of Transportation

Washington State Transportation Commission

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff



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