Rhode Island trucking group: Guv’s toll plan would decimate state’s trucking industry

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Updated Jan 15, 2016
A graphic being used by the Rhode Island DOT to promote its RhodeWorks plan to implement 14 new trucks-only tolling stations.A graphic being used by the Rhode Island DOT to promote its RhodeWorks plan to implement 14 new trucks-only tolling stations.

The Rhode Island Trucking Association is continuing its staunch opposition campaign against R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo’s $600 million truck tolling plan, the most recent jab coming in the form of a poll of the state’s truckers.

The survey of truckers that serve the state showed more than 75 percent of them would do their best to bypass the state if the aggressive tolling plan is enacted, the RITA-publicized poll shows. The survey itself was conducted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

RITA President Chris Maxwell says Governor Gina Raimondo risks ruining the trucking industry in the Ocean State if her proposed 14 new tolls pass muster with the state and the Federal Highway Administration.

One of several photos the RIDOT is using to show the deteriorated condition of its roads and bridges.One of several photos the RIDOT is using to show the deteriorated condition of its roads and bridges.

The state’s General Assembly reconvened last week and is considering Raimondo’s proposal to install $43 million worth of toll gantries that would target class 8 trucks, which she says are wrecking the state’s roads and bridges. Raimondo’s 10-year, $1.1 billion plan to repair the state’s worn infrastructure calls for tolls to back about $600 million in bond revenue.

Maxwell contends that the results of the RITA-released poll show the state’s tolls will not only run-off a core group of truckers, but will actually invite more financial woes.

The Rhode Island DOT, however, disagrees with Maxwell. RIDOT Director Peter Alviti recently issued a one-page letter saying trucks get “more of a free ride” in the state.

For more on this story, see CCJ sister site Hard Working Trucks’ write-up at this link.

Click here to see all of CCJ’s coverage of the Rhode Island tolling plan and the trucking industry’s opposition at this link.