The Ministry of Transport is to investigate ways of calculating and collecting road user charges electronically.
The MOT will manage the investigation, design and possible development and implementation of such a system. It has put out a request for proposals for the development of a business case which will include system design, cost/analysis benefit of options and a detailed programme for development and implementation of the preferred option.
The RFP also calls for options for the overall management of the Electronic Road User Charges (E-RUC) project, which includes managing business case development and scoping the various other work components which make up the E-RUC project.
The government collects about $500 million in road user charges per year, covering about 250,000 vehicles. Diesel car owners currently buy a road user charge licence from a Land Transport Safety Authority agent such as BP. Heavy motor vehicles weighing more than four tonnes pay according to a scale based on how heavy and long they are, their axle configuration and how many kilometres are travelled.
Ministry of Transport manager of infrastructure and services Alastair Patrick says Germany is favouring putting GPS transmitters in trucks while Austria is looking at microwave technology to track distances travelled.
Patrick says whatever happens the system will be voluntary and drivers will be able to continue with the old system.
The RFP, which can be viewed at www.mot.govt.nz, closes on September 17.