Minnesota Report

GPS Technology is the tool Uber and Lyft use to determine their costs for a pick-up for ride shares. Door Dash uses the same for deliveries and UPS makes all of its delivery routes as right turn only to determine the fewest stops for drivers.

Instead of a flat fee for delivery, we believe, an idea we conceived of years ago, commercial operations that use public roadways should be accessed a mileage fee for all routes. This is easily calculated and will be able to determine which communities are most impacted and which roadways are most utilized.

Since the institution of “congestion pricing” on freeways occurred, resulting in the institution of sane lanes, the appetite for accuracy and a fairer distribution of equity is a part of our transportation complex. Granted, the ability for people to pay more for the privilege is not something we support.

Yesterday, Mayor Melvin Carter III (DFL-St Paul) continued his call for a 1% tax increase for road maintenance and we believe there is another way. If the statewide collection of a delivery fee were to include a direct distribution to the communities whose roads are most impacted and were to receive 1/3 of the revenue this would seem to be a way for the state to secure the funds for the localities to receive without the need for a general tax increase.

Granted, we know the application of a $.02%-.05%/mile fee would be passed through to the consumer, but the cost would be identifiable and directly applied as a user fee. This would allow for a better distribution of the costs and a way for the state and the locality to see which roads are most impacted and be better able to schedule maintenance work.

Besides, it is the commercial traffic that puts the most use on our roadways in the first place, and the costs of greater weight and more axels which warrant more consideration. This said higher traffic routes may require thicker layers of asphalt or other different material composition to offset their additional levels of use.