Truckers to pay seven times more than car drivers under new toll plan

CT Tolling Plan

A governor who was criticized last year by the trucking industry for his truck-only tolling plan is back with a controversial new tolling plan.

On Thursday, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont debuted a new transportation funding plan called CT2030.

Lamont’s plan is designed to generate $21 billion for infrastructure improvements using a combination of federal funding, borrowing, and tolling on both passenger and commercial vehicles starting in 2023. Tolls would be collected at 14 different locations throughout the state. You can click here for more information on where the tolls would be collected under the CT2030 plan.

According to Lamont, “Roughly 40% of those user fees [tolls] will be paid by out-of-state drivers, and still more will come from the heavy trucks that do the most damage to our roads.”

Lamont’s plan sets base toll rates at $0.50 – $1.00 for cars, $1.25 – $2.50 for medium sized trucks and $3.50 – $7.00 for heavy trucks. Users with a Connecticut-issued transponder may receive a 20% toll discount form the base toll rate.

Lamont’s plan states that “the heavy tractor-trailer trucks that significantly wear and tear our bridges will pay seven times more than the base car rate, which is comparable to the regional average.”

Lamont says that federal and state law would prevent toll revenue from being diverted for non-transportation improvement projects.

Groups like the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut (MTAC) have come out against the new tolling plan, pointing out that out of state truckers already pay millions in taxes via the International Fuel Tax Agreement and International Registration Program.

On the campaign trail in 2018, Lamont told voters that he believed he could generate anywhere from $100 million to $200 million from truck-only tolling. After he was elected and in the face of harsh criticism from trucking groups and anti-tolling groups, Lamont backed off from the plan, admitting in an op-ed that “the truck-only option provides too little revenue, too slowly and too piecemeal to make a meaningful difference.”