Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, May 24, 2021

Coming Soon to a Roadway Near You

Tolls. Or something like that.

I base this on the rise of electric vehicles. The impact of EVs on the environment is arguable (not terribly great if the generating plant is fossil-fueled) and their utility (you can refuel a petroleum-fueled vehicle in minutes and drive a few hundred more miles) may be marginal for some, but one point, so far, is clear: EVs contribute nothing towards the maintenance of the road network.

This is because road maintenance almost everywhere in the U.S. is paid for by fuel taxes. Even states where the legislature is stuffed with mouth-breathing ideologues have realized that gas taxes have to go up to keep the roads and bridges from crumbling.

If you drive 10,000 miles a year and your vehicle gets 20 MPG and if we assume a tax rate of thirty cents a gallon, that means you're paying $150/year into the road maintenance kitty (assuming your state's legilsators aren't stealing reallocating the tax receipts), that works out to about $150 a year. The easiest way to do it would be to assess a flat tax to the registration fees, which could be adjusted based on the size of the vehicle.

But that's not going to fly, as people will squawk that they don't drive 10,000 miles a year. So instead of that, there will be some system that keeps track of people's driving. Because if it'll save them a few bucks, people will eagerly sell their privacy (witness all of those spyapps that the auto insurance companies are pushing).

10 comments:

J4rh34d said...

Mileage times weight seems fair. Make the unadjusted flat rate high. Folks can adjust down with proof of mileage and weight. Proof or privacy, your call.

Ten Bears said...

It's a shame we're not seeing the end of the car culture, rather an iteration in its evolution. Gas, electric, chipmonks on a ferret-wheel, there's too damn many cars.

dinthebeast said...

I think the gas tax in California just went up to 51 cents, and it still isn't paying for the needed maintenance.
Perhaps some regular old taxes could be used, like if the Biden administration finally accepts reality and passes their infrastructure bill without letting the goddamn Republicans water it down and kill it if they can.
Or maybe we could charge all Republicans who drive but don't want to pay, a flat $1,000/year.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Tod Germanica said...

Ten Bears
Because it's fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the T-bird away...
But maybe kids these days are steering away from them. Some say.

My Peugeot single speed bike pays nothing either and I use it more than my tiny slow old car-which coincidentally gets a poor 20 mpg. With no guts. But it won't die. Japanese Mazda.

Eck! said...

Easy way to collect...

Fastpass or any one of the remote toll collectors
on you window. Done!

Set up electronic toll roads everywhere.

I believe those are already being used for
tracking traffic use.


Eck!

Glenn Kelley said...

Your not thinking like it's 2021.Almost all ev's have over the air access to the cars. The company that made the vehicle can retrieve the mileage if the gov't passes legislation making that retrieval and submission mandatory.

How about an app on the cellphone that records the amount of time the phone is moving faster than 20 mph .

As far as privacy goes if you have a cell phone or internet you already gave it up.

Glenn

Stewart Dean said...

I foresee an explosion in odometer jiggering kits.

Spud said...

Then there are folks , such as myself that are lucky to log 3k in a year.
Toll roads might have some credibility.

Eck! said...

While 2021 tech can do all that and more, most states did that
back when by reading the odo during inspection! Total
non-rocket science.

Every car for the last 10 years (likely more) have a
blackbox (engine computer does data logging) so every
time the inspection is done they read mileage, number of
starts, braking info, and even top speed, and other
engine and system data.

Everything they may want... and more.

As to radio connected... cut the damn wire.

Put the cell in a metallic case [Faraday cage it] until
you actually need it.

Directions... older GPS that doesn't call home.

I do about 5K/yr used to do 22K or more back when
and the big roads have tools electronically collected
(fastpass etal).


Eck!

Eck! said...

Alternate solution is a Honda 350 (from the 70s) or maybe CB450
as they barely had enough electrics never mind automation... ;)
They were good fun. For the stout of heart a Kawasaki 350 triple.

Add a motorcycle trailer and cheap local or further transit.
Gas economy, the CL160 (1966 tube frame 160) I rode some was
good for maybe 100 miles off the 1.7 gallon tank just tooling
around.

Eck!