Connecticut governor backs off of trucks-only toll plan

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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is seemingly backing off of a trucks-only toll plan that he ran on during his campaign for office last year.Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is seemingly backing off of a trucks-only toll plan that he ran on during his campaign for office last year.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, in an op-ed piece published in the Connecticut Post Saturday, Feb. 16, seemingly is reconsidering a trucks-only tolling plan he campaigned on during his run for office last year.

Despite not having a specific plan for the tolls, the newly elected governor campaigned to enact a trucks-only toll similar to what is in place in Rhode Island. However, in the Post op-ed, Lamont noted ongoing legal challenges from the trucking industry. Lamont added in the piece that he has learned tolling just trucks would provide some revenue, but “not enough to upgrade” the state’s infrastructure.

“While we are awaiting a ruling from the courts regarding truck-only tolling, our attorneys are pretty certain that if permitted, the tolling could only be done on specific bridges and the generated revenue would be reserved for those bridges, not for congestion pricing,” Lamont said in the op-ed. “Assuming our attorneys are correct, the truck-only option provides too little revenue, too slowly and too piecemeal to make a meaningful difference.”

He also stated he would consider proposals in the state’s legislature for tolling both cars and trucks to generate the funds needed to improve the state’s infrastructure, but only if there was a significant discount for Connecticut EZPass users and/or a “frequent drivers” discount.

Such a plan was released in November in a report by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, which the department says would generate around $1 billion a year. CTDOT’s plan calls for five-axle truck tolls that are four times higher than the rate for passenger cars, however, trucks with a Connecticut EZPass would receive a 30 percent discount.

According to CTDOT’s plan, trucks with an out-of-state EZPass would be charged 25.2 cents-per-mile during off-peak hours and 31.6 cpm during peak hours, while Connecticut EZPass users would be charged 17.6 cpm for off-peak hours and 22 cpm for peak hours.

Non-EZPass trucks would be charged through a video recording system that records license plate images. Trucks with plates pre-registered in the state would be charged 31.6 cpm during off-peak hours and 39.6 cmp during peak hours. Trucks with plates not pre-registered in the state that would require a Department of Motor Vehicle lookup for billing would be billed 37.6 cpm during off-peak hours and 47.2 cpm during peak hours.

CTDOT says a trip by an out-of-state truck through Connecticut from New York to Rhode Island on I-95 would cost $35.20 with an E-ZPass or as much as $52.80 without an E-ZPass in the peak period. A trip through Connecticut from New York to Massachusetts on I-84 would cost $30.80 with an E-ZPass or as much as $46.20 without an E-ZPass in the peak period.

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