Maui News

West Maui Rep. Says “Vehicle Miles Traveled” Proposal is Unfair

March 26, 2019, 8:11 AM HST
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Honoapiʻilani Hwy. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Representative Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei) has written a letter to Governor David Ige and Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay saying the proposed Vehicle Miles Traveled or VMT initiative is unfair to the people of West Maui and should be scrapped.

“While I greatly appreciate this meeting being held in West Maui, I must speak in strong opposition to the idea being floated,” said Rep. McKelvey in the letter. “The people of West Maui are already at a hardship when it comes to accessing the hub of Maui in the central valley and this proposal before us would unfairly punish us for the long distances we must travel to access critical government, commercial and infrastructure centers.”

The state’s VMT plan would end a fuel tax of 16 cents a gallon on drivers and instead charge them on how much they drive. The state says because there is less revenue coming in as more electric vehicles use the roads, an alternative way to collect money must be found to help fund the upkeep of roadways and bridges.

Residents at a HDOT public meeting at Kapolei High School on Oʻahu last week were outraged by the plan, McKelvey said.

“As a State Representative for the 10th District I will oppose any legislation to implement this program as proposed,” McKelvey said.”However, I recognize the need for funding for our critical road projects and will work with the department to look at rental cars and other revenue generators that will be more fair and equitable to the community.”

Public meetings are planned to discuss the issue in Maui County:

MAUI

  • Monday, March 25 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Lahaina Intermediate School Cafeteria, Lahaina)
  • Tuesday, March 26 (Prince Kūhiō Day) (5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Baldwin High School, Wailuku)
  • Wednesday, March 27 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Pāʻia Community Center, Pāʻia)

MOLOKAʻI

  • Tuesday, April 2 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Kaunakakai Elementary School Cafeteria, Kaunakakai)

LĀNAʻI

  • Thursday, April 4 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Lānaʻi Community Center, Lānaʻi City)

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