A lawsuit has been filed against the Rhode Island Department of Transportation over the newly instated truck-only tolls.
The suit was brought to the Providence federal court by the American Trucking Associations, who claims that RIDOT’s “unconventional” tolls violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
According to Turn to 10 News, the tolls began on June 11th of this year and were intended to supplement a $5 billion plan to repair bridges and roads throughout Rhode Island, but the ATA believes the tolls unfairly target truckers and do not take into account the damage motorist’s vehicles do to the roadways.
“Since the RhodeWorks plan was first proposed, the trucking industry has been strong and united in warning politicians in Rhode Island it is unconstitutional and should be rolled back,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.
“It is unfortunate that Gov. Raimondo and her administration did not heed those warnings, but now we will see them in court.”
“We’ve maintained since day one, that the truck-only tolling component of RhodeWorks is unlawful and this comprehensive law suit offers clear, unequivocal proof,” added Christopher Maxwell, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Trucking Association.
“The Raimondo administration, Speaker Mattielo, and RIDOT Director Alviti force-fed RhodeWorks into legislation with misleading and inaccurate propaganda. Furthermore, they implemented this tolling scheme with tremendous arrogance and reckless disregard for the RI taxpayers and business community who will ultimately get stuck paying the bill for this ill-conceived tolling scheme.”
However, RIDOT is remaining calm in the face of the lawsuit, and even says it was expected.
“This is a lawsuit we expected,” a spokeswoman for RIDOT said in a statement.
“We are prepared to defend the tractor trailer truck only tolling program and have been prepared to do so for three years. We are confident that we will prevail. The tractor trailer tolling program is meeting or exceeding our performance and revenue expectations. It will benefit the users of Rhode Island’s bridges and ensure they are repaired and paid for in a fair and equitable manner.”