The Coalition began the nation’s first multi-state truck mileage-based user fee (MBUF) pilot in 2018 because the trucking industry’s voice was largely missing from the national conversation around MBUF. Most previous MBUF studies focused on passenger vehicles, which could prove problematic because compared to cars, trucks are more heavily regulated, drive longer miles, tend to be less fuel-efficient, and vary widely in size and purpose. We knew that to be effective, any MBUF solution should thoroughly understand all motorists – including commercial trucks. Here are three ways we’re bringing the trucking industry’s voice to the table in our study of mileage-based user fees:
1. We established a Motor Carrier Working Group.
Our Motor Carrier Working Group includes representatives from trucking associations, trucking companies, trucking manufacturers, and regulatory bodies. The Motor Carrier Working Group gives us important insights as we explore trucks and mileage-based user fees, and also helps us more effectively and equitably set per-mile rates in our pilot work.
2. We engage in ongoing education and outreach.
Education about mileage-based user fees is a dialogue, which is why we regularly engage with the trucking industry by presenting at industry events and asking for input. We also engage in outreach more broadly to explain why increasing the fuel tax alone isn’t enough to solve transportation funding issues long-term, to highlight the complexity of the trucking industry to policymakers, and to demonstrate how pilots increase awareness and understanding.
The outreach has paid off – our multi-state truck study received press coverage in national outlets like Yahoo! Finance and industry-specific outlets like FreightWaves and Land Line. This coverage helps bring more awareness to the issues the trucking industry faces when it comes to MBUF.
3. We’re committed to more research.
In October, we began a nationwide MBUF truck pilot to further explore concerns the trucking industry has raised, including compliance needs and ways to synergize with existing regulatory processes to avoid adding additional burdens to truckers.
With further research, we hope to continue bringing the trucking industry’s voice to the table.