Highway administration awards state $5M grant for smartphone pilot project
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) a $5 million grant to test a new user-based funding method for highways and bridges.
To help pay for road infrastructure improvements and maintenance and optimize roadway performance, TxDOT plans to assess the feasibility of using smartphone technology to better understand travel patterns.
The specific goals of this project include:
- Demonstrating the reliability of smartphone-based pricing/crediting at target geofenced locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) region.
- Identifying evidence-based policy recommendations regarding implementation design, public acceptance, revenue allocation, preservation of personal privacy and equity.
- Exploring the potential for market-based congestion mitigation on targeted non-tolled roadway locations in the DFW region.
- Determining the ease of compliance for different users of the system, including family vehicles and autonomous/connected trucks.
- Confirming the administrative burden of implementing the user-based alternative revenue mechanism.
No actual tolls will be collected as part of this pilot, but the project will include development of an accounting system keeping track of payments by user, area, and facility.
TxDOT was one of six state DOTs and two transportation coalitions receiving a total of $18.7 million in Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives” (STSFA) grants from the FHWA. These grants help states explore innovative new ways to provide long-term support for the Highway Trust Fund.