A federal judge ruled that Rhode Island’s truck only tolling scheme was unconstitutional. As a result, Rhode Island was forced to stop collecting the tolls within 48 hours of the rulemaking. Rhode Island had launched the tolling program in 2018.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) cheered the decision, issuing the following statement:
Today, the American Trucking Associations hailed a decision by the U.S. District Court ruling Rhode Island’s predatory truck-only tolling plan RhodeWorks unconstitutional.
“We told Rhode Island’s leaders from the start that their crazy scheme was not only discriminatory, but illegal,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We’re pleased the court agreed. To any state looking to target our industry, you better bring your A-game… because we’re not rolling over.”
ATA, along with Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services Inc. and New England Motor Freight, sued Rhode Island, arguing that the RhodeWorks plan violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state economic interests in order to favor in-state interests, and by designing the tolls in a way that does not fairly approximate motorists’ use of the roads.
“It has been a long road to get to this point,” said Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell, “But this is a tremendous day for our industry – not just here in Rhode Island, but across the country. Had we not prevailed, these tolls would have spread across the country and this ruling sends a strong signal to other states that trucking is not to be targeted as a piggy bank.”
“This is a strong ruling that provides our industry a significant win on a critical issue,” said ATA General Counsel Rich Pianka. “This ruling vindicates ATA’s contention that the Constitution prohibits states from tolling schemes targeted at the trucking industry, at the expense of interstate commerce.”