HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. Josh Green signed the state’s road usage fee program into law and the Department of Transportation is getting the community ready.

The DOT provided the Maui County Council with an update on how the road usage charge program will work.

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The state said there’s been a 20% increase in fuel-efficient vehicles resulting in a decrease in revenue from the state fuel tax — which helps to pay for road repairs.

The program will only apply to electric vehicles for now and will start in 2025. For EV drivers, you can opt in and pay a flat rate of $50 or get charged 0.8 cents per mile. The mileage will be reported through your annual safety check.

But some Maui County councilmembers had questions about enforcement.

“A lot of people don’t get a safety check. But if you rely on self-reporting, you’re relying on people’s responsibility and you know you have people who don’t have insurance,”
said Maui County Council Chair Alice Lee. “Things like that. So we have to figure out a way to make sure that they pay.”

We’re making sure we move forward on this type of road usage charge to ensure that we can be more equitable across the system fully knowing that we’re going to have to stand up enforcement, stand up tracking and stand up our collections within dot to make sure we’re effective.

Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation director

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The state said in 2028 the road usage charge will be mandatory for electric vehicles only. The road usage charge program will apply to all vehicles by 2033. Hawaii is the fourth state in the country to roll out a road usage charge program.