Toll rates are updated every year
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 12, 2019) – New toll rates for three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana begin next month. The 2.5 percent increase is effective July 1, 2019.
The new rate for a passenger vehicle with a prepaid account and transponder is $2.10 per crossing. The current toll rate is $2.05 per crossing.
Drivers with prepaid accounts in good standing and transponders always pay the lowest toll rates. Drivers save more than $2 per crossing. The easiest way to maintain a positive account balance is by choosing auto-replenishment and linking the account to a valid payment method.
RiverLink is the all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, with no stopping, no slowing and no lines. New toll rates will range from $2.10 to $12.61, depending on the size of the vehicle and whether the driver has a prepaid account.
Tolling is in place on the I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge, I-65 Kennedy Bridge and SR 265/KY 841 Lewis and Clark Bridge connecting Prospect, Ky. and Utica, Ind.
Toll rates increase annually by 2.5 percent, unless the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) is higher. Tolls increase every July 1. There was not an increase in 2017 because tolling had been in place for less than a year. Tolling, a bi-state effort between Indiana and Kentucky, started Dec. 30, 2016.
Find more information on RiverLink tolling, including answers to frequently-asked questions, at www.RiverLink.com.
The Annual Progress Report summarizes 2018 activities and accomplishments of RiverLink, the bi-state tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
The Report includes an assessment of transponder usage by members of Environmental Justice (EJ) communities to help shape future assessments and recommendations.
MORE GROWTH AND IMPROVEMENTS IN SECOND YEAR OF TOLLING
Crossings and prepaid accounts increase, and new services offered
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2019) – The second year of RiverLink tolling saw more drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders, more crossings on the new and improved bridges, faster connections to customer service and new services for customers. RiverLink is the all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.
There were 32.3 million crossings on the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana in 2018, an increase of more than 8 percent from 2017 (the first full year of tolling). A significant number of people opened RiverLink accounts and acquired transponders in the second year of tolling. At the end of 2018, more than 193,000 accounts had been opened, an increase of 29 percent for the year. The number of transponders requested was up 27 percent for the year, with nearly 425,000 transponders requested to date.
“It takes time for people to adjust to new travel routes and a new tolling system,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “The increase in crossings and account growth tells us that more people are using the system in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible in this second year of tolling. With prepaid accounts and transponders, they’re paying the lowest toll rates every time they cross a tolled bridge.”
Improvements to the tolling system, including new services, were also a focus in the second year of tolling.
“We want the system to work well for all drivers who are using our tolled bridges,” said Jerry Hoover, the Indiana Department of Transportation director of tolling operations for the Ohio River Bridges. “Reducing the amount of time to connect with customer service was a priority and we delivered. We also added new services like online account conversion and Pay by Plate, offering drivers a new, convenient way to pay tolls owed.”
Online account conversion launched in early 2018, allowing qualifying drivers to open prepaid accounts and save on tolls and fees owed. The online feature allows drivers to open an account in a few easy steps and see immediate savings. The one-time conversion offer is only available before an account reaches collection status (fourth toll notice). When drivers open an account, tolls are lowered to transponder rates and late fees are waived.
More than 12,500 qualifying drivers who owed back tolls and fees opened RiverLink accounts in 2018. Savings totaled nearly $1.5 million dollars with tolls reduced and late fees waived. Customers who took advantage of account conversion saved an average of $120.
Pay by Plate launched in September, giving drivers without prepaid accounts and transponders a new option to pay tolls. Drivers can use their license plate number and other identifying information to pay tolls owed online before receiving an invoice. If the trip has not posted, drivers can enter their preferred contact information and will be notified of transactions that post in the next 30 days.
Pay by Plate has been a popular addition, with more than 2,000 accounts paid and more than 10,000 people signing up for Pay by Plate notifications from September to December 2018.
Faster Customer Service
It was easier to connect with RiverLink customer service representatives, with customers spending less time waiting for assistance. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the average speed to answer a call was 35 seconds, a decrease of nearly 10 minutes from the fourth quarter of 2017.
RiverLink customer service received an average of more than 42,000 calls each month in 2018.
Improvements were also made to the RiverLink website, making it faster and easier for customers to find the information they need. Information was streamlined and Quick Links and Traveler Tips were added to the site. Additions and improvements make it easier for customers to get needed information and manage their accounts online.
Crossings on Tolled Bridges
More vehicles crossed tolled bridges in 2018, with an increase every quarter when compared to 2017. Total crossings on tolled bridges topped 8 million in the second quarter of 2018 and stayed above 8 million the last two quarters of the year. Fourth quarter weekday crossings in 2018 were up nearly 13 percent from the same time last year.
Transponders and Accounts
Significant growth was seen in the number of drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders, but the percentage of drivers crossing tolled bridges with transponders remained stable for the year. Drivers save more than $2 per crossing with a prepaid account and transponder. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to cross a tolled bridge.
The number of drivers who qualified for the frequent-user discount was consistent in 2018. The frequent-user discount is only for drivers in passenger vehicles with RiverLink personal accounts with a positive balance. The discount is per transponder, not per account.
Revenue to Date
Revenue numbers are preliminary for the fourth quarter. In the third and fourth quarters of 2018, nearly $55.3 million was collected and split evenly between Indiana and Kentucky. An additional $4.3 million will be received from E-ZPass systems in other states (drivers who crossed the tolled Ohio River bridges with E-ZPass transponders from other states).
The billing cycle is still active, and additional money is being collected from vehicle owners who have received invoices. Since the start of tolling on Dec. 30, 2016, $186.4 million has been collected and split evenly between the two states.
Revenue collected to date is in line with expectations, and both states are meeting their financial obligations for the Bridges Project. Toll revenue is used to meet financial obligations of the project and for operations and maintenance of the project area.
Tolls are lowered and late fees waived
Drivers who owe tolls save money when they open a prepaid account. Late fees are waived and tolls are rolled back to the lowest available rates when drivers open a prepaid account and request a transponder.
The one-time conversion offer is only available to drivers who have not reached collection status (fourth toll notice). Customer service representatives can assist, but the conversion offer is also available online in a few easy steps.
Drivers can open an account and begin saving money in a few easy steps:
- Go to RiverLink.com and click the Pay Invoice button
- Enter invoice number and license plate number
- Click “I want to save money”
- Savings are calculated based on reduced toll rates and waived fees
- Click Proceed with Account Conversion
- Follow the instructions to finish setting up a RiverLink prepaid account
RiverLink local transponders are free (one per registered vehicle) and RiverLink E-ZPass transponders are $15 each. Requested transponders are mailed to drivers, free of charge. The savings begin as soon as an account is set up as drivers wait for their transponders to arrive. Transponders are typically received in about ten days.
It’s important for account holders to remember they must maintain a positive account balance to always pay the lowest toll rates. If an account reaches a negative balance, higher toll rates are charged and an invoice is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
The easiest way to always have an account in good standing is by choosing auto-replenishment and linking the account to a valid payment method. Find more information on transponders here.
Resolution Passed to Update RiverLink Business Rules
Conversion offer will be extended in the coming year
The Joint Board and Tolling Body met today and approved resolutions ratifying selection of a new toll services advisor (TSA) and amending business rules for RiverLink, the all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.
The Joint Board approved a resolution authorizing the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) to procure the services of HNTB Corporation to serve as a toll oversight advisor (TSA) after the previous contract expired at the end of 2018. HNTB was selected after a request for proposals was issued this fall.
The Tolling Body, the group that sets tolling policies, passed a resolution making several changes to the business rules. Several of the changes are designed to update, refine and better define the framework for operations of the tolling system.
“We are approaching the end of our second year of tolling,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manger with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “The resolutions passed today reflect some of the changing needs of our maturing tolling system. Many are housekeeping issues to ensure our business rules are up to date and reflect day-to-day operations of the tolling system. We also want business rules to reflect updates expected in 2019.”
Updated Customer Service Hours
The new year will bring updated hours for RiverLink customer service centers. Two customer service centers and the customer call center are currently open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Customer service needs have decreased in the second year of tolling. By summer 2019, customer service hours are expected to change to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Customer service is always available online, 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
Kentucky and Indiana have yet to institute inactivity fees for account holders, and updated business rules reflect that the fees are not in effect at this point. After 365 days of inactivity, the states can charge an inactivity fee of $5 a month until an account is depleted and the account is closed. The inactivity fee is designed to clear the books after an extended time of inactivity. Customers would first receive a notice of an approaching inactivity fee. As a new tolling system, the states have not found the need to implement the inactivity fee at this point.
If the payment method on file fails multiple times, the customers will be notified, and the payment source will be removed from the account.
Refunds are provided in the form of payment received. Only full refunds are applied to credit card payments. Any partial refunds are provided by check.
Pay-by-Plate Business Rules
The updated business rule reflects that drivers who sign up for Pay by Plate notifications are notified of crossings on tolled bridges for a period of 30 days.
For disputes taken over the phone by a customer service representative that require documentation, drivers must provide required documentation within 15 days. If the documentation is not provided, the dispute will be rejected.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Toll rates are adjusted yearly on July 1. Rates increase annually by 2.5 percent, unless the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) is higher. Amended business rules clarify which index is being used to determine CPI.
Extended Conversion Offer in 2019
“We’re always evaluating the tolling system and working to make it the best it can be for our customers,” said Paul Boone, Indiana Department of Transportation interim director of tolling for the Ohio River bridges. “This past year, we added a Pay by Plate option for drivers without prepaid accounts and transponders. In the coming year, we’ll make it easier for drivers who owe back tolls to open an account and save money.”
A one-time conversion offer allows drivers who owe back tolls to have tolls lowered to transponder rates and late fees waived when they open a prepaid account. The offer is currently available to drivers who have not reached collection status (4th toll notice). By summer 2019, the one-time offer is expected to be available to all drivers who owe back tolls, including drivers who have received a collection notice.
Another updated business rule would allow the states to authorize an amnesty period at a future date. Late fees would be waived if tolls are paid in full. There are currently no plans to implement an amnesty period, but the new rule provides a future option to collect outstanding tolls.
Joint Board and Tolling Body
The Joint Board and Tolling Body include transportation and finance leaders from Indiana and Kentucky. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) commissioner, the Indiana public finance director, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet secretary and the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA) chairman, or their designees, make up the Joint Board. The Tolling Body includes the four Joint Board members and an appointed member from each state.
The Tolling Body sets tolling policies. The Joint Board was created to have long-term oversight and management responsibility for the Ohio Rivers Bridges Project.
Bi-state tolling representatives handle the day-to-day administration of the tolling system.
Note: Resolutions and supporting documents from the meeting will be posted at https://riverlink.com/about/joint-board/.
The Annual Progress Report summarizes 2017 activities and accomplishments of RiverLink, the bi-state tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
The Report includes an assessment of transponder usage by members of Environmental Justice (EJ) communities and will serve as a baseline for future assessments and recommendations.
Pay By Plate Allows Drivers to Pay Tolls Online
Drivers using the tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana have a new option for paying tolls. Pay by plate allows drivers who do not have a prepaid account and transponder to pay tolls owed online, before receiving an invoice.
“During our first year of tolling, we heard from many drivers who didn’t want to wait for an invoice in order to pay their tolls online,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “Pay by plate gives customers an option to quickly and easily pay tolls owed soon after crossing the bridges.”
Central Florida Expressway Authority to Accept E-ZPass
It just got easier for some drivers in the area to travel on toll roads in central Florida. The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX/“E-PASS”) will start accepting E-ZPass transponders on September 1. CFX is the first Florida toll agency to join the E-ZPass network, bringing the total number of states served by E-ZPass to 17 (see map below).
All E-ZPass transponders, including RiverLink E-ZPass transponders, are accepted on CFX’s 118-mile toll system, including the Metro Orlando area. CFX/“E-PASS” maintains a regional network of expressways in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
Callers connecting with customer service faster than ever
Crossings on the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana reached new highs in the second quarter and the time it took to connect with a customer service representative reached an all-time low.
There were 8.4 million total crossings on the bridges in April, May and June. This was the first time quarterly crossings topped 8 million. There were more than 103,000 average weekday crossings on the bridges in June, marking the first time the monthly average topped 100,000 crossings. In the second quarter of the year, the average time it took to answer a call to customer service was 20 seconds, the best quarterly average to date.
Toll rates are updated every July 1
New toll rates for the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana begin this weekend. The new rates are effective Sunday, July 1. The 2.5 percent increase is the first rate increase for RiverLink, the tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Toll rates increase annually by 2.5 percent, unless the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) is higher.
The new toll rate for a passenger vehicle with a prepaid account and transponder is $2.05 per crossing. The current toll rate is $2 per crossing.
Drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders pay the lowest toll rates. With the new rates, the savings will be more than $2 per crossing. Account holders must maintain a positive account balance to pay the lowest rates and avoid invoices. The easiest way to always have an account in good standing is by choosing auto-replenishment and linking the account to a valid payment method.
RiverLink is all-electronic tolling, with no stopping, no slowing, no lines and no coin machines. New toll rates range from $2.05-$12.30, depending on the size of the vehicle. Tolling is in place on the I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge, I-65 Kennedy Bridge and SR 265/KY 841 Lewis and Clark Bridge connecting Prospect, Ky. and Utica, Ind.