Truckers, lawmakers, local leaders, and others involved in transportation rallied together on Tuesday at a TravelCenters truck stop on Route 102 in Rhode Island. Together they voiced their opposition to the controversial truck-only tolls that will be coming to the state and could lead to such tolls being implemented nationwide.
Organized by the Rhode Island Trucking Association, the rally featured speakers like Chris Maxwell, the President of RITA; Lisa Mullings, President and CEO of NATSO; and local representatives including members of the General Assembly who voted against the implementation of the RhodeWorks plan that is creating the new tolls.
“The trucking industry and related entities – including truckstops and travel centers – will suffer greatly from a discriminatory truck-only toll,” Maxwell said during his speech.
This echoes the sentiments of some of our readers here at TruckersReport who have stated their intention to just bypass Rhode Island entirely if the tolls are implemented. This would put a huge dent in the state’s tax revenue from truck stops, travel centers, restaurants, and any other business that a passing trucker might stop at.
But Rhode Island will always need trucks, and everything a truck brings will be more expensive for residents when that truck is tolled.
“Businesses will be forced to increase prices for goods sold, residents stand to lose jobs if businesses falter,” said Mullings. “Towns and communities will lose millions in tax revenues used to support schools, fire departments and other public services.”
Mullings also warns that this will not be an isolated policy if it is allowed to move forward, saying “this deplorable economic disruption will replicate across the country as other states seek to follow in Rhode Island’s footsteps.”