Community Meetings Scheduled for Potential Road Usage Charge
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will hold 14 community meetings across the state to gather public feedback on a potential road usage charge to fund roadway and bridge maintenance. Community meetings are currently scheduled for the following dates and times:
- Monday, March 25 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Lahaina Intermediate School Cafeteria, Lahaina)
- Tuesday, March 26 (Prince Kuhio Day) (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Baldwin High School, Wailuku)
- Wednesday, March 27 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Pāʻia Community Center, Pāʻia)
- Tuesday, April 2 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Kaunakakai Elementary School Cafeteria, Kaunakakai)
- Thursday, April 4 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Lānaʻi Community Center, Lanai City)
- Wednesday, March 20 (6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Kapolei High School Cafeteria, Kapolei)
- Tuesday, April 16 (location TBA, check online)
- Wednesday, April 17 (location TBA, check online)
- Friday, March 22 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Wilcox Elementary Cafeteria, Līhuʻe)
- Saturday, March 23 (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Koloa Neighborhood Center, Koloa)
- Tuesday, April 9 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Natural Energy Lab, Kona)
- Wednesday, April 10 (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Waimea School STEAM Center, Waimea)
- Thursday, May 9 (TBA, check department online)
Hawaiʻi residents may also provide input and ask questions through an online community meeting that will be held on Thursday, April 18. More information about all meetings will be available on the project website.
“The reality is fuel tax revenue, which provides a third of state highway funding, continues to decrease as cars become more fuel efficient,” HDOT deputy director for Highways Ed Sniffen said. “We need to look at a long-term replacement for the gas tax that is sustainable and fair to all road users.”
In a RUC system, vehicle owners pay for actual miles driven versus a gasoline tax system where owners pay by the amount of fuel their vehicle consumes. Hawaiʻi is one of a dozen states, including California and Oregon, that is investigating whether the switch to a pay-per-mile-driven charge is feasible.
Hawaiʻi’s study looks at a RUC system as a revenue neutral replacement to the current 16 cents per gallon state fuel tax. In this study, factors such as sustainability, fairness, information and privacy protection, and other topics will be addressed.
According to the department, the scheduled meetings are important to share information with residents about road usage charges and gather community feedback.
More information is available on the project website.