Interest in road usage charging programs has increased over the past decade. States are facing declining fuel tax revenues and are looking for new ways to fund the maintenance and operation of transport infrastructure.
Road usage charging programs tax vehicles regardless of their fuel source or fuel consumption. Widespread adoption of road usage charging could generate more revenue for states than fuel-tax based systems do now.
Road usage charging (RUC) is also referred to as distance-based user fees (DBUF), vehicle miles traveled tax (VMTT), and mileage-based user fees (MBUF). No matter what you choose to call it, RUC is defined as a government policy that charges drivers for their use of a road system based on how many miles they travel.
This type of policy is similar to tolling in that motorists pay for their use of a road network to support transportation funding.
However, toll systems are usually only set up to charge users for the utilization of certain road features such as expressways, tunnels, or bridges. Road usage charges apply to all roadways in a set area (such as a county or state), 24/7.
Road usage charging has not yet been widely adopted in the United States but interest is growing and a few states are already running pilot projects.
Under ten states have launched road usage charge pilot programs so far including Washington, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. Most of these states took advantage of federal funding to partially pay for these programs.
These projects are going well and more states are considering enacting RUC pilot programs.
Currently, Oregon is the only state to create and run a fully functioning road usage charge program—called OReGO.
OReGO started in 2015. The program has enrolled over 1,600 vehicles so far. Participation is voluntary. In 2019 legislation was passed to expand OReGO.
Roads in the United States are currently paid for in a number of ways including fuel and tire taxes, tolls, vehicle registration fees, and more general revenue sources such as sales taxes.
The two main sources of funding for highways in America are state and federal fuel taxes. However, these taxes have not kept up with inflation and are worth 40% less than they were a quarter-century ago—despite the overall rise in fuel prices over the past decade.
Due to the gradual decline of fuel tax revenue, there is great interest in using road usage charges to fund America’s highways, as it charges based on distance traveled—not fuel use.
Another factor making RUC systems more attractive to policymakers is the public’s increasing interest in fuel-efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles. These vehicles pay much less in fuel tax per mile than conventional vehicles do. Some pay nothing at all in fuel taxes.
There is concern that governments in the near future are going to be unable to collect sufficient fuel-tax revenues to maintain transportation infrastructure due to the widespread adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles.
Again, RUC seems like a potential solution to policymakers as it taxes all vehicles based on the number of miles they drive—regardless of their fuel use.
It is technically permitted to comply with RUC regulations using paper licenses and hand-recorded odometer readings.
However, automated technologies with GPS-enabled devices can not only help your drivers remain RUC compliant but also provide a number of additional benefits—not to mention that they reduce human error and more accurately record information.
Azuga Insight—one of the best RUC products on the market—includes road use tracking for road usage charging compliance. That’s in addition to other features and premium services that can improve your fleet and benefit your drivers.
For road usage charging, drivers can view their road usage information including miles traveled, fuel tax credit, and their wallet balance. Drivers love that there is zero paperwork required with Azuga.
Here are some of Azuga Insight’s top features.
Azuga can ensure you don’t miss required tax payments. The digital wallet automatically manages your money and includes pre-pay and alert functions.
With visual trip logs—included in Azuga Insights at no additional cost—users can track where they travel and view details such as trip duration, cost, and even their carbon footprint. Routes can easily be shared.
Azuga Insights can also help you monitor your vehicle’s battery’s performance and alert you when it’s time for a replacement. You can also set up “safe zones”: geographic boundaries where, if your vehicle enters or exits the area, you’ll receive a notification.
Don’t want to leave your house to get emissions testing done? No problem. With Azuga Remote Emissions Service participants in the OReGO program can complete mandated vehicle emissions tests with a few easy button clicks at home—or anywhere.
This electronic service is free and certified by the Oregon Department of Transportation. To be eligible vehicles need to have an OBD port, be classified as light-duty, have a fuel economy of 20 miles-per-gallon or better, and be registered to someone who is a resident of Oregon.
With Find it Forward, Azuga helps you find places like gas stations, hospitals, ATMs, and restaurants that are near your current location and in the direction you are going.
Azuga can even provide information on your vehicle’s engine. Azuga devices connect directly to your vehicle’s OBD-II port and relay important data on how well your engine is functioning.
Road usage charging is still in its infancy in the United States, with only Oregon enacting a fully functioning RUC program.
However, declining fuel tax revenue and an increase in demand for fuel-efficient and electric vehicles could drive more states to turn to RUC programs to fill their funding gaps for transportation infrastructure.
Azuga has already created cutting-edge technology to help drivers remain compliant with RUC programs. If you want to not only record the number of miles you drive for road usage charging, but also have access to a number of incredible features with the same device, check out Azuga Insights.
Dispatch software is a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your dispatch process and keeping operations streamlined. It offers a variety of features that make daily procedures so much easier, from fleet tracking to reports that help businesses make decisions. What features does dispatch software offer, and how do these features benefit fleets? We will break this down for you.
It is easy to assign and monitor jobs with dispatch software because it uses fleet tracking. Fleet tracking allows you to assign jobs to crews in the field. If you need a lead technician for a job, it’s simple to attach that lead tech to any job you need. You can even sort jobs based on their status, whether they’re one-time, recurring, or multi-day, or based on urgency.
When workers finish jobs, they can mark the job as complete on their end. This way, you can know when each job concludes and when your technician moves on to their next task.
Back and forth calls between technicians and managers are no longer a problem. With dispatch software, you simply input the job you want your technicians to address. Your technicians access it from their phones and know what to do from there. When they’re done, they can mark it complete and view their next job right away. They can track their time, update their schedules, and input notes all while on the go. Everything you need to know will be on your screen when you need to know it, no need to track the information down.
Dispatch software can improve your business’s customer service reputation in a variety of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking allows for route optimization software, which gets your technicians to their destinations quickly and efficiently. No more late technicians making your customers wait. Furthermore, dispatch software allows you to assign technicians to customers they already know, building an improved relationship with your business. And with all of your customer information in one place, it’s easy to respond to disputes and issues in a timely and personal manner.
All of your client and order information is available in a field service CRM that details everything you need to know about your customers and the jobs you’ve done for them.
Azuga offers state-of-the-art dispatch software that your business is sure to benefit from every single day. These benefits will improve your fleet’s daily operations, boost customer service, and maximize productivity among your workers. These features and more bring your fleet to its maximum potential, allowing you to focus on making important decisions to help the business grow and thrive. Find out everything you can do with dispatch software by trying out a free demo today. You’re certain to be impressed with the improvements.
A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety.
The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption.
Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information.
There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel.
If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!
If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business.
Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.
A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team.
A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.
Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums.
Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field.
Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!