Fleet Management

Truck Toll Alternative Proposed by Rhode Island Republicans

June 15, 2015

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An alternative to the proposed Rhode Island trucking toll has been brought forward by members of the R.I., House Republican Caucus that could eliminate the tolls completely, according to a report from GoLocalProv.com.

Rather than charging Class 8 and above trucks for using major highways, this new proposal calls for $60 million to be set aside to restore the state’s ailing bridges. The proposal is being introduced as an amendment to the state’s 2016 budget.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D) had originally called for a toll to be placed on commercial trucks traveling through R.I., to generate up to $100 million a year to pay for bridge repairs. However, the proposal was met with backlash from national and local trucking associations and has been amended since.

"We are concerned about the impact taking $100 million a year from our trucking industry will have on consumer prices and on our economy as a whole," Rep. Robert Lancia told GoLocalProv.com.  "No one can claim that it won't cause significant damage."

Originally the trucking toll included Class 6 and 7 vehicles but Gov. Raimondo’s proposal was scaled back to just Class 8 and above before effectively being shelved. The revised proposal still singled out commercial vehicles for tolling while passenger vehicles were specifically exempt and did little to calm critics.

American Trucking Associations president and CEO Bill Graves called Raimondo’s proposal “highway robbery,” saying that the state was stealing from the trucking industry to cover up its budget issues.

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