Development of an electronic vehicle miles travelled toll model

Marketa Vavrova, University of Texas at El Paso


This thesis presents the reasons why the fuel tax is no longer a viable source of revenues and suggests new sources of funding. One possibility is to replace the fuel tax with a distance-based toll applied nationwide. Vehicle miles travelled (VMT) fee is compared to the fuel tax, and the relationship between road infrastructure spending and fuel taxation in the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU) is explored. Also the European approach to taxation and tolling is described and compared to the situation in Texas. The development of a statewide distance-based toll model to estimate the feasibility of a set base toll rate, regarding revenues is presented. The aim is to offer an alternative to the current road infrastructure financing system in the U.S. based mainly on the fuel-tax which has been having problems with balancing the outlays and receipts since 2001 and is no longer self-sufficient. The model differentiates the toll price to three categories of vehicles and three emission classes, following a trend from the EU that motivates fleet-renewal and lowers emissions. Also a decision situation is described by an influence diagram and a sequence flowchart, identifying factors that lead to a successful implementation of a distance-based program. Findings of this thesis can be used to enlighten the decision situation foregoing a distance-based toll implementation and help decision makers with the dilemma of whether to implement a distance based toll or rather continue with the current system based on the fuel tax revenues.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

Recommended Citation

Vavrova, Marketa, "Development of an electronic vehicle miles travelled toll model" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1512605.