RIDOT Releases Initial Tractor-Trailer Tolling Results

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation released key data from the state’s tractor-trailer-only tolling program gathered from June 11, when the program began, through July 10. The data included the number of transactions, number of diversions, and receivables from gantry Locations 1 and 2, the agency – part of an effort to “maintain transparency” about the program and to “demonstrate the stability of the system,” noted RIDOT Director Peter Alviti in a statement.

For the program’s initial one-month operating period, receivables totaled $625,989 – which is $27,322 more than the $598,667 estimated by pre-tolling studies conducted by consulting company Louis Berger for RIDOT.

[Side note: the agency is currently being sued over the “constitutionality” of its tractor-trailer-only toll program by the American Trucking Associations and three motor carriers.]

RIDOT added that it conducted three “increasingly intensive traffic studies prior to the start of tolling and estimated that approximately 7,300 vehicles that qualified to be tolled would pass through the first two gantries on weekdays, with approximately 2,200 using them on weekends – totaling approximately 177,000 vehicles for the first month of tolling.

The actual number of vehicles tolled during the first month was 188,815, RIDOT noted, or 11,815 more than estimated.

Studies conducted by the consulting company Louis Berger estimated that 300 tractor trailer trucks would divert from I-95 daily to avoid tolling Locations 1 and 2 and travel instead on Route 3. The actual counts have indicated an increase of an average of four tractor-trailers per day travelling on Route 3 after tolling started as compared to the number of tractor-trailers that regularly use this road, RIDOT said, and as it is “such a small number,” this may or may not be due to diversion.

“With one full month of operation under our belts, we feel confident that the tractor trailer truck only tolling system is working as expected,” Alviti noted. “The data we are seeing is in line with what we had estimated and all is going well. We are seeing a stable tolling system. We have and will continue to monitor the system closely.”

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