Article 2: How are TRANSPORTATION UTILITY fees determined?

The prior article on Transportation Utilities explained the basics of a Transportation Utility. This article further explains how Transportation Utility Fees are determined, especially for nonresidential properties.

Transportation Utility Fee is split into two parts – a Base Fee and a Usage Fee.  Every customer would pay the same amount for the Base Fee, which would cover the cost to run the utility. The Usage Fee, the larger portion of the Transportation Utility Fee that would help the City fund its transportation needs, is based on the estimated number of trips a property generates.  A property that generates more trips generates more usage on the roads, and would have a higher Usage Fee, resulting in a higher Transportation Utility Fee.

The trips a property generates is based off the type of property and typically the size of the building(s) on that property.  A residential property or apartment unit will typically have 1 household, and each of these properties is charged the same base Usage Fee, regardless of the size of the house, apartment, or property. 

For non-residential properties, each property is classified by the type of property (school, bank, gas station, etc.) to determine how many trips that property will generate, based on extensive traffic studies and manuals.  Then the size of the building is considered. For example, a large office building that is twice as big as a small office building could be expected to generate twice as many trips.

Very low traffic properties include churches and industries.  These locations may have very large parking lots, but people typically only come and go once a day or once a week.   On the other hand, properties such as gas stations and fast-food restaurants see many vehicles come and go during the day. These properties generate traffic that creates more wear and tear on streets that serve them, and they are thus assigned a higher proportion of the costs because of the higher trip generation.

The goal of a Transportation Utility is to fairly distribute costs based on usage of City roads.  In some cases, a non-residential property may generate significantly more or less trips then is typical for the property type.  In these limited cases, a property owner will be able to appeal for a review of their property.

The City will be holding a public information meeting to provide more detail on the Transportation Utility on January 19th, 2022 at 5:30 PM.

The next article will compare Transportation Utility Fees to other funding options.