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CEO DATELINE – Trucking group sues Rhode Island over tolls

July 10, 2018
By Lori Sharn

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The American Trucking Associations filed a federal lawsuit July 10 to block new truck-only tolls in Rhode Island. ATA and three motor carriers argue the tolls on tractor-trailers are unconstitutional because they impede interstate commerce.  

The lawsuit says the toll falls almost exclusively on the types of trucks most likely to be engaged in interstate transportation, while exempting automobiles and smaller vehicles.  The program also limits tolls on trucks that make multiple trips within Rhode Island on a single day.

Under a plan called RhodeWorks, Rhode Island intends to establish 14 locations for tolling throughout the state.  The first two of these electronic tolling gantries began operation in June.  State officials argue that large tractor-trailers cause the most damage to roads and should contribute more to road repairs and improvements, WPRI reported.

“Since RhodeWorks was first proposed, the trucking industry has been strong and united in opposition to this extortionate plan. We’ve warned politicians in Rhode Island that these truck-only tolls were unconstitutional and should be rolled back,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear in a news statement. “It is unfortunate that Gov. (Gina) Raimondo and her administration did not heed those warnings, but now we will see them in court.”