What do roads mean to you?

How do we Keep Oregon Connected?

Roads take Oregonians to and from jobs, delivering goods and services, visiting family and friends, and enjoying free time across the state—from the sea to the mountains. However, we don’t often think about their maintenance and preservation for future generations. In spring 2018, ODOT worked with a panel of 60 Oregonians from different regions of the state to create the messages and materials to help everyone learn more about road funding.

At the beginning of the study, 24 percent of participants didn’t know whether there was adequate transportation funding in Oregon. By the end, that number dropped to 8 percent.

“Prior to this study, I didn’t think much about where my tax dollars get redirected. I pay taxes associated with gas, but outside of pricing, I don’t give it much consideration. This study helped me consider the greater implications of my road use,”

– Multnomah County participant

If we’re using less fuel, and fuel purchases pay for maintenance, what does this mean for the future of our roads?

Crunch the Numbers

Just like your car, roads need maintenance to function safely and efficiently. And that takes funding. Like other states across the country, Oregon charges a fuel tax to support the bulk of its road projects. Oregonians contribute 34 cents per gallon, with a two cent per gallon increase planned every two years until 2024 for a total increase of 10 cents per gallon. However, that funding source is diminishing as fuel efficient and electric vehicles become the norm.

 

OReGO: A New Trail Blazed

In true Oregon fashion, we’re pioneering new ways to fund our roads. In 2015, ODOT launched OReGO, the nation’s first road charge program. OReGO allows drivers to pay by the mile instead of gallons. The per-mile charge is not a new concept in Oregon; the legislature first directed investigation into alternatives to the traditional fuels tax in 2001.  Research over the years revealed that Oregonians think a pay per mile system is fair because everyone pays for what they drive.

Next time you’re on the road, think about these questions and facts:

 

Q: Around how many miles of highway are there in Oregon?

A: 74,000. Less fuel tax revenue means less money to preserve them.

Q: How much can it cost to rebuild a single highway lane mile?

A: Up to $1.5 million. Early preservation techniques only cost $200,000.

 

Q: How much does early preservation of a highway lane mile cost?

A: $200,000. Less fuel tax revenue means less money to preserve them.

Q: How is OReGO different than the fuel tax?

A: You pay per mile driven instead of gallon of gas purchased.

Q: About how many bridges are there in Oregon?

A: Around 8,000. Many are between 50 and 80 years old.

Q: How much do you pay per gallon in fuel tax?

A: 34 cents per gallon

2018 Oregon fuel tax rate

Q: How much will you pay in fuel tax in 2024?

A: 40 cents per gallon

2024 Oregon fuel tax rate

Stay connected

Sign up for our interest list to stay up-to-date on OReGO!
Get updates
WordPress Image Lightbox