Equity Impacts of Transportation Revenue Mechanisms and Changing Trends

This research topic relates to the strategic goals of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to advance equity in transportation. This topic is also of interest to state departments of transportation (DOTs) that depend on fuel tax revenues to allocate resources. The current fuel tax mechanism for funding surface transportation will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future, despite some advancements made in the future implementation of a mileage-based fee or other revenue options. The federal fuel tax, a fixed per-gallon fee, represents a proportionally higher burden on lower-income families. This disparity may widen as the vehicle fleet becomes increasingly fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicle ownership increases. Improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency are developing at a rapid pace. Auto manufacturers are expanding the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles, and states have set ambitious goals for new electric vehicle ownership and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, lower-income drivers tend to replace their vehicles less frequently and continue to drive less fuel-efficient vehicles. The equity disparity around what proportion of an individual’s income contributes to fuel costs will continue to grow under the current fuel tax structure. Transportation revenues are likely to change with technological advancement, infrastructure demands, and climate change, which will have equity impacts. The objective of this research is to develop a tool kit that informs state departments of transportation about equity impacts resulting from alternative revenue structures and includes strategies to mitigate inequities resulting from transportation revenue mechanisms and changing trends.  


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 19-22

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Sumners, Camille

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Glover, Brianne

  • Start Date: 20240510
  • Expected Completion Date: 20260509
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01845587
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 19-22
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 18 2022 10:49AM