KDOT launches survey to explore future financing of transportation


Written by: Press release issued by David Elliott
Date of publication: 10-14-2021

The Kansas Department of Transportation has launched a statewide investigation to find out what the Kansans think about highway and bridge funding.

The survey is available on the project’s webpage at ksdotike.org/RUC-study and will be open until November 24. It takes about five minutes to complete.

The survey is the first step in a Midwestern Road User Charges (RUC) study conducted by KDOT. Kansas is the first DOT to hire drivers to help design a local RUC driver. The study will focus on identifying how an RUC system that reflects the unique values ​​and needs of the Midwest could finance transportation investments.

Kansas’ roads and bridges are funded primarily by fuel tax revenues, taxes paid at the pump. This funding continues to decline as the number of electric and hybrid vehicles increases and as people drive fewer kilometers. A recent KDOT study indicates that by 2045, the state’s transportation system could rely on sales taxes for 60% of revenue, which is likely unsustainable.

This is a nationwide problem, but to date the discussion of how an RUC might work has mostly been driven by research on the east and west coasts. The KDOT RUC study is the first major pilot to bring a local Midwestern perspective to this important discussion.

“It’s important that we bring a Midwestern perspective to this national conversation,” Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz said. “Conducting this local study will help KDOT better understand the potential real-world implications of a road user charge model and help ensure that the outlook for the agriculture and freight industry – as well as the rural drivers – are taken into account. “

The study will be carried out in three phases. The first phase is looking for volunteers to engage in activities and provide feedback that will inform the pilot design of the RUC. Those interested in learning more and tracking progress can also sign up to receive email updates on the project webpage at ksdotike.org/RUC-study – check out the fact sheet of the project. The study is supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and coordinated with the Minnesota DOT to extend the scope of the pilot.

(Information courtesy of KDOT.)

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