Transurban (ASX:TCL) share price wobbles as CEO calls for road-user reforms

Is a per-kilometre tax the future for Australian road users?

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The Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) share price is up and down today amid reports the company’s CEO is calling for Australian road users to face a per-kilometre charge.

Transurban’s CEO Scott Charlton has reportedly claimed the take-up of electric cars has left a gap in the public purse normally filled by excise duties on fuel.

Right now, the Transurban share price is trading down slightly at $14.36 after opening in the green.

Let’s take a closer look at Charlton’s calls for a new road-use revenue model.

CEO calls for per-kilometre fees

The Transurban share price is in the green today. Meanwhile, Transurban’s CEO is reportedly calling road users to pay up for every kilometre they drive.

According to reporting by the Sydney Morning Herald, Charlton is backing Infrastructure Australia’s latest 15-year plan, published this morning.  

This time around, the body is worried Australians might soon be travelling double the kilometres while paying half the fuel excise they were 20 years ago.

Infrastructure Australia is calling for a “fair pricing regime” to be implemented over the next 15 years.

The regime may include distance-based road-use pricing reforms. The body states the reforms could be built on heavy vehicle initiatives and proposals from individual jurisdictions.

Charlton is quoted by the publication as saying if Infrastructure Australia’s proposal was rolled out and successful, Transurban might look to run a similar scheme.

Such a shift in direction could be something investors interested in the Transurban share price may want to keep an eye out for.

The road ahead

Government fuel excise currently sits at 42.7 cents per litre of petrol and diesel. It also adds 13.9 cents to each litre of LPG.

While a proposal such as Infrastructure Australia’s may seem like a tough slog, it might have some merit.

A Parliamentary briefing from 2016 stated Australia’s road revenue was decreasing. The drop was mainly due to more fuel-efficient, electric, and hybrid cars hitting the bitumen. At the time, the fuel excise made up 39% of Australia’s road revenue.

However, as a result, the fuel excise unfairly targeted Australians without the financial means to upgrade their inefficient vehicles.

Transurban share price snapshot

The Transurban share price is currently 4% higher than it was at the start of 2021. It has also gained 0.3% since this time last year.

The company has a market capitalisation of around $39 billion.

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