Rhode Island clears trucks-only toll plan, group warns it will ‘decimate’ state’s trucking industry

| February 11, 2016
This photo from the Rhode Island DOT is being used to illustrate the state's deteriorating roads and bridges.

This photo from the Rhode Island DOT is being used to illustrate the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges.

Rhode Island is one step closer to enacting the nation’s only toll policy that targets only trucks.

Both the state’s House of Representatives and Senate have passed Gov. Gina Raimondo’s controversial plan to charge truckers toll fees to help pay for the state’s deteriorating bridges and roads.

Trucking groups have spoken out loudly against the plan. The Rhode Island Trucking Association (RITA) has warned lawmakers that truck drivers will avoid traveling through the state if the Class 8 truck tolls are enacted, saying the plan will “decimate” the state’s trucking industry.

RITA President Chris Maxwell has said that the state has not been fiscally responsible when it comes to maintaining its infrastructure and is making up for budget shortfalls by unfairly targeting a single industry for all of the state’s worn roads and bridges.

Related

76% of truckers say they’ll avoid Rhode Island if state enacts trucks-only toll plan

A recent survey of truck operators who travel Rhode Island’s highways shows that 76 percent of them will take different routes and bypass the state ...

Following eight hours of debate Wednesday night, the Democrat-controlled Rhode Island House of Representatives voted 52-21 in favor of the bill. It passed the state’s Senate by a vote of 24-11 mid-day Thursday.

The bill will now be sent to Raimondo’s desk to be signed into law. The 14 proposed toll gantries, part of Raimondo’s 10-year $1.1 billion infrastructure improvement plan, will cost the state $43 million.

Once enacted, drivers of class 8 trucks will pay a maximum of $20 to travel through the state along Interstate 95 one-way. Each electronic toll gantry a trucker passes under would cost about $3. The maximum daily charge would be $40.

Rhode Island backpedals on trucks-only toll plan, still aiming for Class 8 tolls as main bridge funding source

Rhode Island lawmakers have scaled back a plan to pay for repairs to the state’s infrastructure with a truck-only toll on about two dozen bridges.

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36 comments
stev
stev

Just don't go to ri Thay get hungry! or don't complain about it

Dean Steinel
Dean Steinel

PA put a toll on every road in the state and nobody has fought it or raised their rates to accommodate it. A toll of I80 was shot down so they raised the fuel tax 15 cents. Funny how that works

David Bailey
David Bailey

Let's see if the top ten trucking companies will avoid Rhode Island. Or better yet, pass on the charges to the shipper/receiver

rc1234
rc1234

Only works if trucks go there.....

Steve
Steve

Luckily it's a puny state and easy to avoid.

Casey Goddard
Casey Goddard

Ya. That makes sense. Let's toll the trucks so the product cost more to the consumers of RI. Ultimately the residents of RI will be the ones paying the tolls. Shows how smart they are. The rates will go up accordingly. Not that I go there anyway. Another example how blind government is.

Finkster
Finkster

Sounds like a bunch of Liberals are in charge in Rhode island. Just like Obama in Washington DC. Raise Taxes on the Trucking and Energy Industries to cover their Wasteful Spending that is leading our nation into the toilet. Just like Moon Beam Brown in California and the Wolf in sheep clothing in Pennsylvania. "" Raise Taxes is their Cry"". Kick out all those Middle Class Jobs to China is their end result. Bring more poverty to the United States is their Life's Ambition. Crony Capitalism is the way of life for all these Corrupt Politicians. Democrats and Republicans alike are destroying our economy with their Wastefulness and Stupidity. So let's raise Tolls and Taxes so the Trucker will be forced to live as Slaves while supplying all the Lazy and Illegals with a life of comfort living off the dole. Oh, and give all those Politicians a year end Bonus that equals a Yearly Trucker Wage. Yeah, them Politicians work hard, just like all them Big Government Unionized Employees. Most of them can't make the grade to be a Pimple on a Truckers Rump.

norman ott
norman ott

Mega carriers will still deliver.

john Franco
john Franco

Whether you have tolls or not the problem is there the infrastructure is deterioting and needs a solution. You levy taxes unfairly you'll get poor results ie. the lawmakers project 100 million in revenues from trucker tolls, this is difficult to achieve when you don't account for the exodus of trucks. That said initiate a one time only fee either way , class 8 at 5 dollars, class 7 at 4 dollars etc., and finally cars at 50 cents. No one is left out and we all carry the load. Give the baby spoonfuls it can handle.

Tomahawk
Tomahawk

What if this was a land far away, and in that land, you had to manage your money? You couldn't spend more money than you could make, or borrow with a reasonable plan to pay back. In that land they would probably call this "sound fiscal management". Because that's what it is. Kinda like how I run my house. And my business. And my two checkbooks. I don't spend someone else's money. It's my money. RI, as with DC, needs to get a grip on money management issues. They spend money like they stole it. Because they did. And it's gonna take us to stop it. My opinion.

Yote Anders
Yote Anders

how about the trucking industry having a "Rhode Island only" surcharge of $1500.00 per load? That might prevent other states from getting the bright idea to target trucks as piggy banks. If RI wants us to pay because they couldn't balance the budget and allocate money responsibly for he last decade or better, then we need to include a surcharge to this state as a lesson in what happens when you single out a group of people to pay for your stupidity!

Just trucking
Just trucking

Yep ,Tom is right! the easiest way to boycott, this BS, raise our rate by $40 to $80 one-way/North/if you going thru on RI.

Randy T
Randy T

This is absurd. Because a state can manage their financial budget, they are going to just unload the bill onto the trucking industry. Right after a bill was passed 2 months ago to add more costs on truckers. I'm so tired of states that can't manage their money through all their socialist programs and just pass the costs onto another industry. $40 maximum per day is a ton of money

Tom AndSheila Hurd
Tom AndSheila Hurd

What's the big deal, if your delivering to NYC you plan on huge tolls and you adjust your trucking rates accordingly or you avoid the area. They do what they want and rates have to accommodate, or just avoid the area like I already do. I operate out of Maine and have put on 100 miles in RI in the last 4 years because I hate the area anyways, too much decayed city, congestion, crazy drivers, they had to close all the rest areas because the gays were harassing people and it doesn't pay any better than delivering to nicer places. So if you want to truck in RI, pay the toll and be happy.

Idrenak
Idrenak

I have no problem with this. But I think if we are going to use this logic that all politicians should be taxed 30% more than everyone else. They created the deficit and shortfalls in federal and state budgets so they should be the ones to bail us out.

Steve
Steve

Rhode Island isn't that hard to boycott. But how do they plan on getting products delivered to their state without a big increase in shipping rates ?The trucks will just pass on the cost of the toll to the Rhode Island citizen times 10.

Shadow
Shadow

Let the F---S starve . Now let's set back on our a--s and do nothing and watch how many other states will follow their tolling. This will be just the start.

Pachy Dermetitus
Pachy Dermetitus

No need to wait till they put up the booth. Boycott of all destinations only accessible via RI starts now.

Pachy Dermetitus
Pachy Dermetitus

How is this any different than changing their ifta rate would have been except the ifta system is already in place. It seems like somebody is trying to fix a system they know nothing about.

Jimmy
Jimmy

That is just it they get no freight for about 6 months and all their shelves will be bare no body will have gas for their cars . They will change the stupid TOLL. or their economy will falter down to nothing , Not hard to go around a state that is only 30 miles wide.

jOE sCHMOE
jOE sCHMOE

Booking a load into or out of Rhode Island will now cost $25 more (handling fee of $5) Customers there will see this new tax they have to pay. Anybody booking a RI load without a toll surcharge is stupid.

Truckinginstyle
Truckinginstyle

Let's not forget the wear on the equipment and fuel loss by stopping to pay each toll. That doubles the cost. So yes: go F.... yourself Rhode Island! Very easy to avoid that POS state

MrBigR504
MrBigR504

Oh i know! They're gonna have shuttles coming out to pick up all the freight SITTING ON THE GROUND AT THE STATE LINE!!!!

Michelle M
Michelle M

Simple, don't deliver to the idiots. Once their store shelves get bare, they will see just how intelligent their idea really is.

helmethead
helmethead

And just How can this be Legal,I believe it will be Challenged in Court.You as a State should not be able to Discriminate weather it be of People or Vehicles.As People are the ones Operating the Vehicles.

Mr.Mopar
Mr.Mopar

Oh well. Once again the northeast liberals have shown the world their Socialist agenda. There will be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth, threats of boycotts, bad language and condemnation and in the end, truckers will just pay the toll like they do in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas and other states. Why? Because I've been hearing the calls for boycotts since the early 70s and they never, ever materialize. Lots of flapping gums and CB profanity, but nothing else. Legislators have recognized this lack of commitment to act, and they know trucks represent a cash cow that bellows and paws the ground, but since trucking is a cash cow and not a cash bull, there's no testicular fortitude to do anything.

helmethead
helmethead

Well Mr. Mopar Trucks are not the only ones in those states paying tolls.Lets compare Apples to Apples.

dannythetrucker
dannythetrucker

the roads that you don't pay a toll on are socialist, FYI.

Pachy Dermetitus
Pachy Dermetitus

The next step in socialism is the government begins exercising capitalism against citizens. Public road becomes toll road. Capitalism would be a privately owned highway system. A rare exception to my preference of capitalism.

Shaun
Shaun

Well put Mopar- the last serious display of backbone was in 1974. The all talk, no action attitude is what's helped run this industry into the ground.

Mr.Mopar
Mr.Mopar

True, but this one targets just trucks. That's the cash cow I was talking about.

Steve P
Steve P

Truck Tolls may be coming to Rhode Island but that don't mean that there will be any Trucks to Pay the TOLLS.It sure will Suck to be Living in Rhode Island with out any Food on the shelves or Clothing at the stores.Rhode Island can kiss my A$$ just like California.