Bay Area Drivers Could Be Tracked By GPS, Taxed Per Mile Driven

OAKLAND (KCBS) – Bay Area drivers could one day be tracked using a GPS-like device in their cars and taxed per miles driven – a scenario which is part of a proposed long-range study aimed at finding ways to reduce traffic and pollution, while also raising revenues.

Members of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments are scheduled to vote on Thursday on whether or not to authorize a study of the proposal. Under the plan, drivers would have to install  trackers in their vehicle and officials would tax drivers for every mile they travel.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Randy Rentschler with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said this is a 20-year look at what may be best for transit funding and as always, there is going to be a concern from consumers about government tracking.

“We’re not interested in where they go. We’re only interested in the amount they travel,” said Rentschler. “But for some folks, that’s a distinction without a difference. Anytime you talk about getting information from people, whenever that conversation comes up, it’s another hurdle you have to overcome.”

Rentschler said the hope would be to raise enough money to fix the Bay Area’s roadways and improve public transit services.

Although all the details are still being worked out, the so-called Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax could cost up to a dime per mile and also be based on the time of day a driver is traveling on the roads.

Transit officials said this is all part of a long-term transportation and housing effort called Plan Bay Area, which includes several other proposals on how to solve congestion while raising revenue for improving roadways.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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