The Raimondo administration is reducing the number of trucks it wants to toll as part of a new program to pay for infrastructure improvements. However the State Trucking Association remains opposed to the governor’s initiative.
The governor’s office is exempting trucks in class sizes 6 and 7 from its plan to institute electronic tolls on highways around the state. The cost of the tolls has not yet been publicly identified.
Association members say they were not consulted before the Governor unveiled her proposal, which would impose tolls only on trucks. UPS Vice President Pat Thomas, was among those speaking against the plan at a public event Tuesday.
“This is an 11th hour attempt to push through legislation that’s inherently unfair, tolling only trucks,” Thomas. “I know of no other state in the nation that tolls only trucks.”
Christopher Maxwell of the Rhode Island Trucking Association said truckers view the toll proposal as discriminatory.
“Our position is that you can’t toll just trucks,” said Maxwell. “Nobody else is tolling just trucks. We’re shouldering a burden beyond reason.”
Maxwell said truckers agree on the need for infrastructure improvements, but believe this should be paid for by raising the fuel tax. Governor Raimondo’s infrastructure plan is expected to be part of the state budget being considered by lawmakers next week.
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