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Transpo. board to ask drivers how they should be taxed

Wednesday - 9/21/2011, 4:43am  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - An area transportation organization is trying to manage our region's congestion by finding new ways to charge drivers, and they're turning to those behind the wheel for help.

The region's Transportation Planning Board is studying a series of scenarios for additional tolls, taxes or fees, and will ask the public how they feel about the possibilities over the next six months.

Some of the options they are considering include:

  • Tracking drivers by GPS and charged a fee on a per-mile basis every time they take the car out of the driveway
  • Charging drivers a toll every time they want to put wear-and-tear on a major highway
  • Follow London's lead, and requiring drivers pay a fee to enter a congested area like downtown D.C.

According to the TPB:

    Different types of pricing can serve a variety of policy goals, including increasing transportation revenues, relieving congestion and otherwise managing travel demand, and freeing up road capacity (as well as funding) for other transportation modes, such as high quality bus services or bicycle/pedestrian improvements.

The D.C. region will serve as the case study for this project. About 60 to 70 members of the public will be invited to participate in forums that will last about four hours. The TPB says by engaging the public, they will identify any potential objections or opportunities that would come along with setting up these pricing scenarios.

The Planning Board says the following four-hour Saturday sessions have been scheduled between mid-October and mid-January. Exact locations for the events are not yet determined:

  • Saturday, Oct. 15 - New Carrollton, Md.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5 - Chantilly, Va.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19 - Rockville, Md.
  • Saturday, Dec. 3 - Springfield, Va.
  • Saturday, Jan. 21 - Washington, D.C.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)