CHOKEPOINTS

Chokepoints: Pay-per-mile experiment needs more diverse driver pool

Dec 7, 2017, 6:20 AM | Updated: 7:24 am
pay-per-mile,. seattle traffic...
Seattle's roadways are becoming more congested as the city's population booms. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

As Washington state’s pay-per-mile pilot is set to begin, the Washington State Transportation Commission worries about its pool of volunteers to choose from.

Chokepoints: Is it time to ban bikes from sidewalks?

Two-thousand drivers will be selected early next year out of the pool of applicants to spend 12 months testing the pay-per-mile method.

The state has approximately 4,300 drivers to choose from now, but Reema Griffith, executive director of the Washington State Transportation Commission, says they need more applicants to fill-in some lacking demographics.

“We want to make sure that the group of 2,000 drivers is from all over the state and is as diversified as possible so that this research project kind of captures all those different angles and possible experiences people are going to have,” she said.

They really need more rural drivers added to the mix, she says. They also need a better selection of vehicles.

“A lot of people think that we maybe only want the fuel-efficient cars, like a hybrid or an electric. We need the old cars and the new cars and everything in-between,” she said. “You don’t need to be a driver that drives a lot. We want all types of drivers in the mix.”

The state would like more skeptics of pay-per-mile in the applicant pool.

“Those are the folks that we also need in, and they really should (apply),” she said. “We need that perspective. We need people to come in and truly experience it.”

And if our comment section is accurate, a lot of people believe this pilot is just for show; that the decision to switch to this method of transportation funding has already been made. Griffith said that’s not the case.

“We may do this pilot and find a fatal flaw or two that we didn’t even think about that makes it a no-go,” she said. “The commission is not really taking a position in saying, ‘this is it, this is what we think we should do.’ I think the best we’ve said is, ‘we think this is worthy of further testing.'”

Current timeline: The state will continue to take applicants through the end of the month and then whittle the field down to 2,000 drivers. They will start the pilot in late January or early February. Participating drivers will get to choose which method they want to calculate their miles and their tax. They can guess how many miles they will drive and pay for that block. They can choose to use their odometer readings. They can plug a GPS into their car, or they can use an app to track their mileage. They will also be able to switch methods during the year.

The data will be collected and crunched, and it will be up to the Legislature to decide what to do next.

Tell Chris about a Chokepoint or ask a traffic question @kirotraffic via Twitter.

Chokepoints

light rail...
Chris Sullivan

Sound Transit says light rail cable break after Apple Cup unprecedented

Sound Transit still doesn't know why the cable broke on a light rail train, stranding passengers in the tunnel last week after the Apple Cup.
4 days ago
Zeva, flying cars...
Chris Sullivan

Are flying cars the real future of personal travel in the Northwest?

Local engineer Steve Tibbets envisions a future of on-demand, electric, personal air vehicles carrying us to our destinations.
4 days ago
West Seattle Bridge...
Chris Sullivan

20 months into the closure, workers return to West Seattle Bridge

Workers finally returned to the closed West Seattle Bridge on Monday, promising to have it open to the public by the middle of 2022.
7 days ago
Tow truck drivers...
Chris Sullivan

Washington tow truck drivers beg state lawmakers for more protection on roads

Tow truck drivers are begging the state Legislature for more protection after a deadly year on Washington's roads.
13 days ago
ferry...
Chris Sullivan

Washington State Ferries to slowly start returning normal service this week

Ferry riders have been struggling with a reduced sailing schedule for about a month now, but there could be some service improvements coming.
20 days ago
light rail...
Chris Sullivan

Light rail trains finally testing on East Link tracks

Light rail cars are running on the East Link tracks in the first phase of systems integration testing before service begins in 2023.
25 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Chokepoints: Pay-per-mile experiment needs more diverse driver pool