Minutes from July 28, 2015 Open Board Meeting

 Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Don Averill, Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Tom Brickley, Rachelle Bussell, Ken Coate, Louis Goodwin, Scott Hofferber, Matthew Isaac, Erik Johnson, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Ed Lasak, Bill Lemann, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Bev Powell, John Prentice, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Wendy Strack, Hassan Webb and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Robbie Broedow of San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office, City of San Bernardino Mayor Casey Davis, Kathrine Kolcheva of Supervisor Hagman’s office, City of Highland Mayor Larry McCallon, Victorville Councilmember Ryan McEachron, Yucaipa Councilmember Dick Riddell, Fontana Mayor Pro Tem Michael Tahan and Andrea Zurieck of SANBAG.

Announcements: 1) In response to the Governor’s Proclamation calling for an Extraordinary Session on Transportation and Infrastructure, the League of Cities is working with a broad coalition to seek support for transportation funding. They are asking Cities to write to their legislators and pass resolutions for new sustainable funding for State and local transportation infrastructure.

Ray Wolfe introduced Jim Madaffer, California Transportation Commissioner and Chair, California Road Charge Committee.

The gas tax which has not been increased since 1994, cannot cover the needs of repair and maintenance of currently identified projects in California which are estimated at $59 billion. Although the vehicle miles traveled has increased so has fuel efficiently. Vehicles have become much more fuel efficient so many drivers are paying less gas tax which continues to reduce the amount of money used for fixing our roads. Studies show that by the year 2025 vehicle fuel efficiency will be at 54.5 miles per gallon. Of the 50,000 miles of roads in our State, 58% requires rehabilitation or pavement maintenance, 87% of California Counties have an average pavement rating of “At Risk” or “Poor” and 25% of local streets and roads will be in “Failed” condition by 2022 under the current funding levels. California has 6 of the 10 worst urban area pavement conditions in the nation. Roads in California are so bad that we are ranked 45th in the nation.

To address the problem Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 1077 in 2014. SB 1077 created a 15 member Road Usage Charge (Road Charge) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to guide the development and evaluation of a pilot program to assess the potential for mileage-based revenue collection for California’s roads and highways as an alternative to the gas tax. The design and implementation of the statewide pilot program must be completed and evaluated by January 2017. Members of the TAC are from the telecommunications industry, data security & privacy industry, privacy rights advocacy organizations, regional transportation agencies, members of the legislature, highway user groups, national research & policymaking bodies and other relevant stakeholders.

The group has identified the following revenue solutions: Near-Term Solutions-Truck weight fees, excise tax, VLF/VRF, early loan repayments, cap & trade, new legislation Long Term Sustainable Solutions- Congestion pricing/tolling, public private partnerships (P3’s) and road charge Program (SB 1077)

New legislation like Senate Bill X1-1 (Beall-formerly SB 16), increases gas excise tax by 12 cents/gallon and increases diesel excise tax by 22 cents/gallon 12 cents to be made available to TCIF). It also creates an Annual Road Access Fee of $35 per vehicle and requires the State to repay transportation accounts for past year loans to general fund over three years beginning in 2016. Additionally “Price-Based” excise tax goes back to the original 17.3 cents and would eliminate the annual rate adjustment to maintain revenue neutrality for the gasoline and diesel excise tax rates.

Road charges -There are many ways a Road Charge can be collected and the TAC will be evaluating these over time. Ways to collect the Road Charge can be technical and non-technical. Non-technical can be: Pay a fixed amount at the start of the year for a maximum number of miles. Pay for an average amount of miles, say 12,000 miles, and have your odometer read at the beginning and end of the year. At that time you would true up and get a credit if under or pay for the surplus miles. Pre-purchase a block of miles as needed – say 1000 or 3000 – and ensure your usage is covered. If it isn’t, you pay a premium for the miles not covered. (This is how it is done in New Zealand). Technical ways to handle Road Charging: Put a device in your car that only reads the miles and reports them to a central office. The device handshakes with your car and can only be used by that vehicle. (This is the Oregon approach.) Put a device in your car that has location based services, such as GPS, and you only pay for the miles driven in the State of California. Any miles driven outside the state, say in Nevada, are not included in the payment to the State of California. Use the internal vehicle systems and the car can report directly with the owner’s permission to do so. Put an app on a smart phone and it shakes hands with the vehicles blue tooth or other communications and the smart phone send mileage messages to report mileage.

The TAC work now underway is only to support a pilot project. No decision to move forward with a full-scale permanent road charge program has been made, or will be made, without public participation, input from stakeholders and approval from the Legislature. The timing of the process is expected to be:

December 2015: The TAC will finalize the parameters of the road charge pilot program. Summer 2016: Road charge pilot program will begin. Summer 2017: The pilot project will be complete and its results will be reported back to the TAC, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and the Legislature. December 2017: The CTC will provide commentary and recommendations to the Legislature.

We are on the tipping point with technology in transportation. Options only available in high end vehicles are now standard equipment. Autonomous vehicles will soon be here as technology moves rapidly. The TAC is working to make these potential road charges simple, private and easy to collect.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:32 a.m.