In August 2008 the Humphrey Institute's State and Local Policy Program (SLPP) organized a visit to the German Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) tolling system. SLPP selected Germany for this visit because: (1) the German HGV tolling system to be at the cutting-edge of large-scale, distance-based tolling for the purpose of infrastructure investment funding, and its use of incentives to reduce vehicle emissions, especially as they relate to greenhouse gases (GHG); and (2) the HGV system could be used as a possible distance-based financing model for Minnesota and the United States in the future. It is anticipated that the next Surface Transportation Authorization Bill will likely include a distance-based implementation demonstration project.
The German Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) tolling system, introduced on January 1, 2005, is a satellite-based, electronic system covering the entire national motorway (Autobahn) network (12,500 kilometers or 7,768 miles). Tolls are assessed to all heavy commercial vehicles over 12 tons (26,400 pounds) gross vehicle weight, based on distance traveled, number of axles and emission class. The toll system is operated by Toll Collect, a private-sector joint venture made up of Daimler-Chrysler Financial Services, Deutsche Telecom and Cofiroute. The system generated 3.3 billion Euros or $5.15 billion in 2007.
On October 1 the Humphrey Institute hosted a roundtable on the German system. The purpose of this roundtable was to provide a better understanding of the challenges and successes of the German system and its possible relevance to Minnesota and the US. The roundtable was sponsored by the University of Minnesotaâs Center for Transportation Studies and the Humphrey Instituteâs State and Local Policy Program with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. A copy of the agenda, presentation slides, and full report on the German system can be downloaded below.