Trucking Association sues over truck tolls

By WPRO News

The American and Rhode Island Trucking Associations is suing the state Department of Transportation over truck tolls. The Associations and three other companies asked a federal court on Tuesday to rule Rhode Island’s RhodeWorks “truck-only toll scheme” unconstitutional, saying the toll program “discriminates against interstate trucking companies and impedes the flow of interstate commerce.”

The lawsuit has been filed in Providence federal court by Virginia-based American Trucking Associations and claims Rhode Island Department of Transportation tolls violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.The Associations, along with Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services Inc. and New England Motor Freight, are asking for an injunction to stop the tolls and repayment of legal fees.

“RhodeWorks was conceived, designed, constructed, and implemented with the intent of placing a weighted financial burden on out of state carriers,” said Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell.

RIDOT said it expected the lawsuit and has been prepared to defend the tolling program for three years.

“The tractor trailer tolling program is meeting or exceeding our performance and revenue expectations,” RIDOT said in a statement. “It will benefit the users of Rhode Island’s bridges and ensure they are repaired and paid for in a fair and equitable manner.”

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