Since its inception in June 2018, Rhode Island’s truck tolling program has added $7.2 million in revenues to the state’s coffers, slightly over the $7 million originally projected. The first two toll gantries installed, on I-95 in southern Rhode Island, saw approximately 2.2 million toll transactions in the first year ending on June 10, 2019.
One contributing element to the strong revenue stream is the fact that few trucks are changing their routes to avoid the tolls.
“We had been conservative on our estimates of what we expected for diversions. Since less diversion is actually happening, it resulted in a slight increase in revenue,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.
Adding to the two initial truck gantries already in operation, RIDOT opened a third truck tolling gantry in August on Route 6 in Providence near the Woonasquatucket Bridge. The plan going forward is to construct and open approximately one gantry each month until next spring, until all 13 gantries are up and operational.
$25 million in revenue projected for next fiscal year.
Based on the program’s first-year success and the impending opening of additional gantries, RIDOT expects the trucks-only tolling program to bring in $25 million between June 2019 and June 2020. Tolls are limited to one daily charge per gantry per truck, in each direction, for a maximum of $40. The revenue from each gantry location is earmarked for the support of specific associated bridges.
Original plan for 14 gantries reduced to 13.
In July, RIDOT announced it is merging two of the originally planned tolling locations into one. Since a gantry for the Route 6/10 Connector would have been less than a mile away from the Route 6 Woonasquatucket Bridge gantry, the former will be eliminated from the plan — a move which will save $2.5 million in construction costs. To compensate for the $3 tolls that would have been collected by the Route 6/10 gantry, the toll rate for the Route 6 location was increased from $2 to $5 after a one-month public comment period.