Oregon becomes first in nation to launch program to tax drivers by the mile

PORTLAND -- Oregon has launched a pay-per-mile road fee program for drivers -- becoming the first state in the nation to have such a system aimed at replacing per-gallon gas taxes.

KPTV in Portland reports the program -- called OReGo -- is voluntary right now for 5,000 participants. The test run began Wednesday.

Drivers who want to take part sign up to install a device in their car that collects data on how far they drive.

The idea is that charging per mile would be a more equitable method of collecting money for roads, since vehicles with high gas mileage use less gas and therefore pay less in gas taxes.

With OReGO, drivers will pay 1.5 cents per mile they drive, and will receive a credit to offset gas taxes they pay at the pump.

However, there are also privacy concerns. Two of the three OReGO systems track and store a car’s every move.