Trucking companies in Rhode Island agree with lawmakers that the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges need repair — but they do not agree on who should foot the bill.
The Rhode Island Trucking Association has accused lawmakers of unfairly targeting truckers with proposed legislation that would use new tolls from large commercial vehicles to pay for bridge repair.
Tolls Would Cost Trucking Industry $100 Million Per Year
Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to borrow $700 million to fix hundreds of the state’s bridges and roads and then to pay the money back by tolling truck drivers on 20 bridges to the tune of an estimated $100 million per year.
Trucking Industry Says Tolls Are Unfair
The Rhode Island Trucking Association fired back, saying that “it is clear the administration has not considered the impact this will have on both the trucking industry and the price of consumer goods in Rhode Island. We all believe Rhode Island’s roads and bridges need to be improved and we want to be part of the solution, but to unfairly target one industry is simply not an equitable plan.’ The RITA also says that it is unfair to collect money from commercial vehicles but not passenger vehicles. Additionally, they say that trucking companies already fund infrastructure through fuel tax dollars and registration fees.
Raimondo justified the proposed toll by saying that heavy trucks cause at least 90% of damage on the nation’s highways.