Transportation funding discussions have been front and center in the legislature the past few years. Elected officials return to the same question — How do we pay for it?

One option being discussed is a shift in tax policy. Increasing vehicle efficiency, a massive increase in population and other factors have made the gas tax out-of-date and insufficient to fund our transportation needs. To better understand potential solutions, the Colorado Department of Transportation received a grant to study the impacts of implementing a road usage charge.

The impacts of a road usage charge on rural drivers is of particular concern. Rural drivers not only tend to drive longer distances but they also drive on private roads and fields that may not impact road quality or contribute to the congestion in urban areas that is often at the center of these conversations. However, the actual numbers of miles in those locations is currently unknown. Pain points exist for both kinds of drivers, but impacts may differ.

To better understand rural drivers, Colorado Farm Bureau is partnering with CDOT to learn more about where and how far rural drivers go.

“There’s so much diversity in how rural people use transportation that the second round of testing will be very different,” predicted Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau, in a recent Denver Business Journal article.