Tolls are increasing for commercial vehicles in Indiana to pay for an infrastructure project that includes several major upgrades to roads.
The Next Level Connections project, which was announced by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will be supported by a one-time toll increase for heavy vehicles with three or more axles traveling on the Indiana Toll Road on Oct. 5, 2018.
Rates will not increase for passenger vehicles and the Indiana Toll Road stated that toll rates will still remain among the lowest in the country. New toll rates are already posted online and amount to a 35% increase.
The state will be using the extra money, as much as $1 billion according to The Journal Gazette, for roads and other infrastructure improvement projects. These enhancements will include:
- Expanding the existing Intelligent Transportation System across the eastern and western sections;
- Extending fiber optic cable along the full length of the ITR;
- Increasing overnight truck parking capacity by over 20%;
- Delivering a “smart truck parking” system; and
- Implementing electric truck parking stations at all of the eight travel plaza
Naturally, not everyone is on board with the toll increase. A story from Indiana radio station WIBC quoted Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, saying, "The administration likes to make people think that as long as it's only trucks no one else will be impacted." He also characterized the way the toll funds were being used as a waste of money, adding that even though passenger cars wouldn't see increased tolls, the price to haul goods would likely go up, increasing the cost to the consumer.