ARLINGTON, Virginia — The American Trucking Associations, along with three motor carriers representing the industry, asked a federal court to rule Rhode Island’s RhodeWorks truck-only toll scheme unconstitutional, arguing it discriminates against interstate trucking companies and impedes the flow of interstate commerce.
“Since RhodeWorks was first proposed, the trucking industry has been strong and united in opposition to this extortionate plan. We’ve warned politicians in Rhode Island that these truck-only tolls were unconstitutional and should be rolled back,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It is unfortunate that Gov. (Gina) Raimondo and her administration did not heed those warnings, but now we will see them in court.”
In its suit, ATA, along with Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services Inc. and New England Motor Freight, argues that the RhodeWorks plan violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state trucking companies, and by designing the tolls in a way that does not fairly approximate motorists’ use of the roads.
“This toll regime was designed to, and does in fact, impose discriminatory and disproportionate burdens on out-of-state operators and on truckers who are operating in interstate commerce. By design, the tolls fall exclusively on the types of trucks that are most likely to be engaged in the interstate transport of cargo, while exempting automobiles and the smaller vehicles that are relatively more likely to be engaged in intrastate travel,” the complaint said. “The toll program also limits the tolls collected from trucks that make multiple trips within Rhode Island in a single day, a feature that was expressly intended to, and does in fact, provide disproportionate benefits to Rhode Island operators and those engaged in intrastate commerce.”
“From the outset of this debate, Rhode Island’s trucking industry and business community stepped forward as viable partners for long-overdue infrastructure investment in our state,” said Chris Maxwell, president of the Rhode Island Trucking Association. “Instead of considering our perspective, Rhode Island’s legislators, led by Gov. Raimondo and Speaker (Nicholas) Mattiello, marginalized us, dismissed us and chose the unfortunate path of designing, building and executing an unlawful and inequitable scheme of truck-only tolling. The result is this lawsuit.”
To read ATA’s full complaint, click here.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I have a solution stay out of rode island when they talked about it. started building it I said bye bye to the state no money for the toll and done go up there anymore and more company’s need to do the same
That state is not big enough to get a toll road through and off the path and the toll road should be free so stop trying to take COMPANYS !!!!! money it is to many tolls here already and roads and bridges are the hold government is just being greedy it is just a sorry bunch of lobbyists yours truly EZ
Why is the first instinct ALWAYS to tax the trucker ???? Do you people realize that EVERYTHING YOU HAVE came by truck…from you state car to your lunch to the podium that you spew your discriminatory language from. TRUCKS ARE THE BACKBONE OF THIS COUNTRY…not politicians…how about state legislators in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation TAKE A PAY CUT ????? In effect that is what you are trying to force hard working truckers to do…more money out the door for graft to the state means less money for the actual worker !!! THANKS A LOT RHODY !!!!