Test drive this new DelDOT tech - Technical.ly Delaware

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Jul. 31, 2019 1:38 pm

Test drive this new DelDOT tech

As DelDOT considers a mileage-based user fee program to make up for lost gas taxes, it's asking the public for input.

There's no free drive.

(Photo by ambrozinio via stock.adobe.com)

Changes to the way Delaware pays for infrastructure updates are coming.

This morning, Gov. John Carney, signed Senate Bill 61, legislation establishing the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund to support Delaware job creation via roadway infrastructure improvements.

Specifically, that means the state will now “provide economic assistance for renovation, construction, or any other type of improvements to roads and related transportation infrastructure in order to attract new businesses to Delaware, or for the expansion of existing Delaware businesses, when such an economic development opportunity would create a significant number of direct, permanent, quality, full-time jobs.”

The fund aims to attract new businesses to Delaware, expand existing Delaware businesses and create local jobs. The new legislation means that projects won’t need to go through a long process of approval that can push back that intended creation of new jobs.

Funds are a big issue for Delaware Department of Transportation, as it searches for a solution to a decrease in fees collected via taxes on gas.

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To help find the solution, DelDOT is looking for volunteers to test drive new tech for its Mileage-Based User Fee (MBUF) pilot. This is a totally free pilot program that will help to determine whether MBUF is a workable solution for funding highway infrastructure.

How does it work? You’re going to have to apply if you want all of the details, but MBUP is a way to collect fees from drivers based on mileage rather than by taxing gasoline.

While those who currently drive hybrids and cars with high gas mileage may frown at the idea of shifting the fees from gas to mileage, the fact that there’s a need for such a fee is a good thing — it means that there isn’t enough fossil fuel being purchased to sustain the roads by taxing it.

And, in the end, we’re all going to have to pay for it one way or another.

If you’re interested in participating in the pilot, go to i95coalitionmbuf.org.

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