Top 5 Troubling Trucking Trends Likely To Continue In 2019: #5 Terrible Tolling
Little Rock, Arkansas – If you are an avid reader or viewer of Transportation Nation Network (TNN), you are well aware that we follow trucking news and industry trends as closely as any. As we head into a new year, we’ve identified 5 trends from 2018 that we think are likely to continue through 2019.
Here is the number 5 troubling trucking trend we expect to continue in 2019.
#5: Terrible Tolling
As our politicians in Washington D.C. endlessly bicker, our dilapidated infrastructure is only getting worse. Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on much of anything and how to fix our aging roads, bridges and interstates is another example.
Much of the burden is falling on states to figure out how to fund highway projects and other needed infrastructure repairs. In 2018 we have seen more state legislatures resorting to increasing tolling. Other states are also increasing existing tolling rates.
However, even more troubling is the emergence of the targeting of truckers who travel through states. You may remember this year when Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb unleashed the ire of many in the trucking community when he approved a plan to raise truck-only tolls a hefty 35% along the 157-mile stretch on I-90 earlier this year.
Another example is the controversial “RhodeWorks” truck-only tolling program enacted by Rhode Island legislators. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo unveiled the $5 billion program setting off a firestorm of criticism by trucking industry stakeholders.
The American Trucking Associations and its Rhode Island chapter, along with Cumberland Farms, M&M Transport and New England Motor Freight, have challenged the new tolls in Federal Court in Providence. It’s a case destined to be decided by the highest court in the land and there is much riding on the outcome.
If the precedent is set which would allow states to toll only one type or segment of traffic/travelers/vehicles then it is likely more states will target truckers in the future because semi-trucks can be tolled at higher rates. Until then, in the absence of new funding measures at the federal level, expect states to continue to enact terrible tolling policies on truckers.