A lawsuit has been filed by the American Trucking Association against Rhode Island for its use of truck-only tolls. They’re hoping to not only overturn the current truck-only tolls, but also to make sure that a similar program is never again tried in the future.
Rhode Island had plenty of warning. When Governor Gina Raimondo first proposed the truck-only tolls, the whole industry told her it wouldn’t work. The plan seemed like it was quickly scrapped, but a short time later they were back at it again. ATA and multiple other industry groups warned Rhode Island that they would fight the proposal any way that could.
ATA even promised to file a lawsuit the moment the first toll was collected. It took a few weeks, but that’s exactly what they did. Almost exactly a month after the first toll location went live, the lawsuit was filed.
ATA is joined by three carriers in the suit against Rhode Island which was filed on July 10th. In it, they allege that the tolls violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution which seeks to prevent any burden on interstate commerce.
A single one-way trip across the state will cost truckers up to $20, with a maximum of $40 paid in tolls in a single day. The tolls are supposed to bring in $45 million per year, all on the backs of professional truckers.
“Since RhodeWorks was first proposed, the trucking industry has been strong and united in opposition to this extortionate plan,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear in a statement. “We’ve warned politicians in Rhode Island that these truck-only tolls were unconstitutional and should be rolled back. It is unfortunate that Governor Raimondo and her administration did not heed those warnings, but now we will see them in court.”