Toll rates are updated every year
New toll rates for the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana begin July 1, 2018. The 2.5 percent increase is the first rate increase for RiverLink, the tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Tolling, a bi-state effort between Indiana and Kentucky, started Dec. 30, 2016. 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, beginning in 2018. There was not an increase in 2017 because tolling had been in place for less than a year.
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.
New online feature off to a fast start with 1,000 new accounts opened
RiverLink is offering Louisville-area drivers a fast and easy way to save time and money with a new online feature. Drivers who pay by mail can convert higher toll charges to the lowest available rates and have late fees waived when they open a prepaid RiverLink account. Since launching in late February, more than 1,000 drivers have chosen the online conversion offer and opened accounts. Those drivers have saved nearly $30,000 in total toll and fee adjustments.
“Hundreds of people have already taken advantage of the savings,” said Scott Adams, Indiana Department of Transportation director of tolling for the Ohio River bridges. “The new online account conversion is fast and easy, and drivers who sign up for accounts immediately see how much money they’re saving. This is just one example of RiverLink’s efforts to improve the customer experience, and more changes are on the way.” read more…
Number of prepaid accounts and transponders nearly doubles
The first year of tolling on three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana saw significant growth in the number of RiverLink prepaid accounts and the number of RiverLink transponders requested. Nearly 150,000 RiverLink prepaid accounts were opened in the first year of tolling and nearly 335,000 transponders requested.
“We’re encouraged to see both the number of RiverLink accounts opened and transponders requested nearly double in the first year of tolling,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “But, we want to see more drivers crossing the bridges with transponders in this second year of tolling. Having a prepaid account and transponder is the easiest and most cost-effective way to cross a tolled bridge. It saves drivers money.”
Other improvements planned for RiverLink
The Joint Board and Tolling Body met today and approved amendments to bylaws and amended business rules for RiverLink, the all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.
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.
Millions could be saved by opening prepaid accounts
The third quarter of tolling on three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana saw a steady number of crossings, but no significant growth in the number of drivers using transponders to cross the tolled bridges. There were more than 7.7 million crossings of the three tolled bridges in July, August and September. On average, 61 percent of weekday drivers used transponders while crossing the tolled bridges.
“Tolling has been in place for nearly a year, and it’s important all drivers understand that crossing a tolled bridge with a prepaid account and transponder will save them money, no matter how often they use the bridges,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “The cost savings are substantial.”
In the third quarter, more than one million crossings were made each month without a transponder. A driver saves $2 per crossing when using a prepaid account and transponder. Drivers could have saved nearly $7 million with prepaid accounts and transponders.
Thousands of drivers in Indiana and Kentucky have paid tolls owed to the two states, via RiverLink, and will avoid having a hold placed on their vehicle registration. A registration hold is placed when a toll is not paid after repeated notices. The first holds are expected to be placed next week. Drivers will not be allowed to renew their vehicle registration until tolls and fees owed are paid in full.
Since RiverLink announced pending registration holds last week, nearly 6,500 drivers have paid tolls and fees owed in full. Those drivers have paid nearly $170,000 owed to the two states.
Registration cannot be renewed when repeated notices are unpaid
Drivers in Indiana and Kentucky who owe tolls to the two states, via RiverLink, will have a hold placed on their vehicle registration when a toll is not paid after repeated notices. A hold is placed on a vehicle registration after a toll is unpaid, and at least four RiverLink toll notices have been sent to the customer.
The first notice, second notice, violation notice and collections notice are mailed over a minimum of a 135-day period, allowing drivers more than four months to pay tolls owed.
Drivers have another option for purchasing RiverLink transponders. RiverLink starter kits are available at Thorntons locations in Louisville and Jeffersonville. The kit includes a RiverLink prepaid transponder that can be used on the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana, a reload card and a RiverLink customer agreement.
The second quarter of tolling on three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana saw an increase in the number of crossings on the bridges and significant improvements in RiverLink customer service. Tolling on the SR 265 Lewis and Clark Bridge, I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge and I-65 Kennedy Bridge started Dec. 30, 2016.