UPDATED -- Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced last minute changes to a truck tolling proposal that upset several local and national trucking groups, but the state trucking association says the plan still unfairly targets truckers.
The new revised version of the RhodeWorks plan scales back the definition of a large commercial truck removing Class 6 and 7 vehicles and restricting the tolls to Class 8-13 vehicles.
New language was also added that allows the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to establish a program that would limit the assessment of tolls on a single vehicle within one day. Individual large commercial vehicles would only be subject to tolls once per location, per day in each direction.
The revised proposal still singles out commercial vehicles for tolling with language that indicates passenger vehicles and smaller commercial vehicles are still exempt. This was a primary source of contention for American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves, who called the plan “highway robbery.”
The Rhode Island Trucking Association said they’re not satisfied with the proposal, even with the proposed changes, according to a report on WPRI.
“I don’t want to it to be out there we’re somehow satisfied because they’ve dropped classes 6 and 7 out of the proposal,” said RITA spokesperson Bill Fischer, according to the station. “I don’t want you think the problem is solved or that we’re satisfied in any way shape or form.”
The proposed RhodeWorks plan would assess a user fee for large commercial vehicles traveling along several bridges on routes 95, 195, 295, 146, 6 and 10. The fee would be collected electronically without physical toll booths and is expected to generate about $100 million annually. The plan was proposed as a way to pay for the state’s ailing bridge system.
Updated 8:30 EDT 6/3/2015 to add RITA response