Rhode Island DOT releases results of first month of truck-only toll collection
July 19, 2018
It has only been one month, but the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has already released the first set of data of its truck-only tolling. So far, the two active toll gantries are exceeding the state’s expectations.
During preliminary studies, RIDOT estimated about 7,300 trucks would be tolled on the two tolls on weekdays, with an additional 2,200 trucks being tolled on the weekends, a total of 177,000 tolled trucks in the first month. How many trucks were actually tolled from June 11 to July 10? 188,815.
Studies also estimated that 300 trucks would divert the Interstate 95 tolls by using Route 3 instead. One month into the toll collection, an increase of an average of four trucks per day use Route 3 compared to the number of trucks using the highway before toll collection. Since the number is so small, RIDOT cannot be certain this is because of avoiding the tolls, according to a news release.
Studies estimated revenue of $598,667 for each 30-day period of the two existing toll gantries. Actual revenue for the first month totaled $625,989.
Not everyone is excited about the first set of truck-only toll data coming from RIDOT. Chris Maxwell, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, said it would not matter if the agency had 10 times the truck traffic and revenue.
“Any conversation about anything other than the legality of truck-only tolling is irrelevant at this point,” Maxwell told Land Line.
Along with three trucking companies, the American Trucking Associations has filed a lawsuit against RIDOT Director Peter Alviti over the truck-only tolls. The lawsuit claims the tolls are unconstitutional, citing the Commerce Clause.
The first two toll gantries officially began collecting tolls on truck drivers along Interstate 95 on June 11. One toll gantry is approximately 1 mile north of Exit 2 (Hopkinton/Hope Valley) for the Wood River Valley Bridge on the Richmond/Hopkinton line. The other toll gantry is approximately 3 miles south of Exit 5 (Route 102) for the Tefft Hill Trail Bridge and Baker Pines Bridge near the Exeter/Richmond line.
RIDOT is currently accepting public comments on the Environmental Assessment of the 10 remaining gantries. Comments are due by Aug. 11. A public comment meeting is scheduled for July 27.