Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, proposed an amendment to the 2015-17 supplemental Senate Transportation Budget that will use excess federal funding provided by the Puget Sound Regional Council to create a road usage charge pilot project implementation plan as a future alternative to what’s commonly known as the gas tax.

“We passed a $16 billion dollar transportation package last session that will fund transportation projects in our state for the next 16 years,” said Carlyle. “We are entering a new era of revenue for transportation and public infrastructure. It’s time to innovate and look to the future.”

The road usage charge implementation plan will lay the groundwork for how a pilot project would work in the State of Washington. The amendment allows the continuation of work that began in 2011 to design the pilot project and is expected to answer outstanding questions such as, what would a pilot project actually look like, what would it involve, and how would data be collected and used?

“This is an option we need to continue to explore,” said Carlyle. “One of the central concerns about a road usage charge is privacy. I share those concerns and encourage the committee to consider all of our options.”

The amendment was adopted in the Transportation committee and is included in both the Senate and the House versions of the supplemental Transportation budget.