Several states along the East Coast are proposing pilot programs to help pay for increasing transportation costs. Specifically, they suggest charging drivers fees per miles traveled, instead of imposing a gasoline tax (as is often done at state and federal levels). Although one poll suggested that such a fee would be "unwaveringly unpopular," it also found that the public was more supportive if the fee varied based on the vehicle's emissions.
RFF’s Margaret Walls, in a previous blog post, suggests that the fee should vary based on congestion. She writes: "On congested highways in urban areas during peak commuting periods, the fee might be substantial but on rural roads and in urban areas during off-peak travel periods, the fee should be zero." She notes that such a fee would help to address the externalities associated with congestion, such as delay costs, extra fuel consumption, pollution, and road impacts.