August 20, 2014
BOSTON (AP) - A proposal to use GPS to charge people in Massachusetts for the miles they drive is being blasted as "Orwellian."
But a similar program has been tried in Oregon with positive results -- after efforts to eliminate concerns "Big Brother" was watching. The GPS system used in Oregon doesn't allow real-time tracking of the vehicle, though it still measures distance traveled.
A draft plan by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has called for a "Vehicle Miles Traveled" program to replace the gas tax by 2014.
The idea is that as cars become more fuel efficient, gas tax revenues will drop. Backers of the plan say charging drivers for the miles they put on state roads is a fair way to pay for them.
Similar programs are being considering in Idaho and Rhode Island.
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