LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky officials will consider action this week that could mitigate an increase in toll rates on RiverLink bridges that are scheduled to begin July 1.
The Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority plans to vote on a resolution at a meeting Wednesday recommending that the Kentucky-Indiana Tolling Body “minimize” the annual fare hike.
Details of the resolution were not immediately available.
The six-member toll body includes key representatives from transportation and funding agencies in Kentucky and Indiana. It has the power to set and modify toll rates.
The toll agency’s policy is that toll rates automatically increase each year whichever is greater: the rate of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index for the 12 months ending April , or 2.5%.
With consumer prices soaring nationwide, the average inflation rate over this period is 6.6% in the category used by RiverLink, according to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. United.
A two-axle car with a prepaid RiverLink transponder now pays $2.21 per crossing. A 6.6% increase, for example, would incur a one-way toll of $2.36. Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, must pay $11.04 to cross one of the RiverLink bridges if they have a transponder; an increase in tolls based on inflation would increase this cost to $11.77.
Tolls range from $2.21 to $13.26 per crossing on the Interstate 65 Kennedy and Lincoln Bridges and the Lewis and Clark Bridge between Utica, Indiana, and Prospect, Kentucky. Drivers can also get a 50% credit if they complete 20 round trips in a calendar month.
WDRB News asked four government officials from the tolling body last week if they would support rule changes so that annual toll increases are not automatically tied to inflation.
These members – Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray; Geri Grigsby, deputy cabinet secretary for Kentucky finance and administration; Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner Mike Smith and Indiana Finance Authority public finance director Dan Huge have yet to respond.
The Kentucky Board of Directors reviewing the resolution manages the state’s financial obligations to the RiverLink project. It meets virtually at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
This story can be updated.
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