The Rhode Island Trucking Association and NATSO, the national association representing travel plazas and truckstops, announced that they will host an informational rally and press conference October 18 to discuss the devastating effects that “RhodeWorks”—the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s truck-only tolling plan—will have on local businesses and commercial truck drivers that operate within the state of Rhode Island.
RhodeWorks authorizes the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to toll commercial vehicles within the state. Although revenue is supposed to go toward funding the repair and replacement of bridges throughout the state, there are no legal requirements that the money raised be used in this manner. What’s more, tolls significantly increase the costs of shipped goods and divert trucks off of the interstate onto local roads. RhodeWorks will have serious negative effects for local businesses, which will have to pay more for the goods they sell, as well as Rhode Island towns and communities that rely on these businesses’ tax revenue to grow and thrive.