Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Alabama Trucking joins fight against Rhode Island’s ‘Truck-only’ tolls

Alabama Trucking Association announced today that it has joined with the American Trucking Associations and other state trucking associations to fight the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation proposed truck-only tolling program on Interstates that travel through its boundaries.

According to ATA President and CEO Mark Colson, his organization has pledged his organization’s support, finances and resources to bolster ongoing legal efforts to block the plan.

“Alabama Trucking is proud to support the fight in Rhode Island against truck-only tolls,” Colson said. “When our industry is attacked (at home) or in any other state, our industry must stand united. Trucking moves America, and when governments forget that, it’s our job to remind them and fight back.”

Why it’s important…

Rhode Island National ATA State Vice President Mike Collins, President of M&D Transportation, Inc. in North Kingstown, RI has created a brief video from the explaining proposal and its costs on trucking businesses. Click Here to watch it.

This issue has potentially huge national implications for the trucking industry because if the Rhode lsland Dept. of Transportation is successful in implementing its truck-only toll program, other states (including Alabama) would then have a precedent to toll the entire interstate system (using the bridge exemption that RI is exploiting) and applying those tolls to trucks only. Trucking leaders vehemently oppose the practice, calling it “discriminatory.”

Further, industry experts argue that states without tolls would seek to establish truck-only tolls and target “those big, out-of-state trucks that damage our state’s roads.” Meanwhile, states with existing tolls could see a dramatic increase in truck tolls — or worse, the elimination of tolls on all vehicles and implement a huge increase for truck tolls to offset the loss of car-toll revenues.

What’s being done…

The American Trucking Associations’ Litigation Center has officially launched a fundraising initiative to help cover the significant expenses associated with the industry challenge to Rhode Island’s discriminatory truck-only tolls program.

Note, the new RI truck-only tolling program arguably represents the most expensive tolls in the country. Typically when discussions of tolling or fuel taxes occur, the focus is on a cost-per-mile basis but in this instance, where tolls are being applied to 20-40 ft. overpasses, National ATA calculates on a cost-per-linear foot vs per mile. Hence, a $6.50 toll for a 40-ft. overpass equates to 16 cents per foot and 16 cents per foot extrapolated to a per-mile calculation (5,280 ft. in a mile) equates $858 per mile. Unless the industry wins this litigation, this type of cost increase awaits the supply chain nationwide.

How you can help…

Your support is needed as the industry’s lawsuit against Rhode Island’s unconstitutional, truck-only tolling scheme heads to federal court. We understand that National ATA membership is not for all, but your contribution to National ATA’s Litigation Center is earmarked specifically for this litigation.

For more information, visit