LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 2, 2017) – Scores of drivers being introduced to RiverLink, the new, all-electronic tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project, are opening accounts and ordering transponders. Incredibly high demand for RiverLink transponders means supplies are being depleted more quickly than anticipated. All remaining RiverLink local and RiverLink E-ZPass transponders are expected to be distributed early this week.
Toll rates range from $2-12, depending on the size of the vehicle and whether the driver has a prepaid RiverLink account and has requested a transponder. A driver in a passenger vehicle who has ordered a transponder will pay $2 to cross a tolled bridge. A driver in a passenger vehicle without a transponder will pay $4.
Drivers with RiverLink accounts waiting for transponders to arrive will pay the lowest rates, including the frequent-user discount. For these drivers only, the requirement that transponders be properly mounted in passenger vehicles to receive the frequent-user discount is being temporarily waived.
An automatic $40 credit is applied to a RiverLink personal account when a driver makes 40 tolled crossings per assigned transponder per calendar month.
“We knew interest in RiverLink transponders would be high, but demand has skyrocketed over the past few weeks,” said Megan McLain, tolling project manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “From July through November, more than 70,000 RiverLink transponders had been ordered. Nearly 100,000 additional RiverLink transponders were ordered just in December, outpacing total demand since we launched operations.”
An order for additional RiverLink transponders was placed in mid-December. Additional RiverLink E-ZPass transponders are expected to be available later this month. Additional RiverLink local transponders are being produced, and may not be available for several weeks.
“Tens of thousands of drivers are clearly getting the message that having a transponder will save them money,” said Clint Murphy, director of tolling oversight for the Indiana Department of Transportation. “There’s no reason for these drivers to worry as we replenish our inventory. All drivers who open RiverLink accounts will pay the lowest rates until their transponders are in hand.”
License plates will be scanned, matched to prepaid accounts and the transponder rate applied until transponders are delivered. This will ensure drivers who have opened prepaid RiverLink accounts and are waiting for their transponders will enjoy the same lower rates as drivers with prepaid RiverLink accounts who have properly mounted their transponders.
Drivers who already have their RiverLink transponders need to make sure they’re properly mounted. A transponder is placed on the inside of the windshield, as high and as central as possible. It may be placed on the driver side or passenger side of the rearview mirror.
Transponders should be mounted 3 inches away from any metal, tint, antenna or defroster.
Drivers should avoid extreme temperatures when mounting their transponders. During cold weather, drivers can warm their car for a few minutes before mounting a transponder.
Tolling is underway
Tolling on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project started Friday, Dec. 30. The new SR 265 Lewis and Clark Bridge, the new I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge and the improved I-65 Kennedy Bridge are tolled.
The Kennedy and Lincoln bridges provide 12 lanes of I-65 traffic connecting downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana. The Lincoln Bridge carries six lanes of I-65 north traffic, and the Kennedy carries six lanes of I-65 south traffic. The Lewis and Clark Bridge, which opened to traffic Dec. 18, connects the I-265 Gene Snyder Freeway in Prospect, Ky. with State Road 265 in Utica, Ind.
RiverLink is all-electronic tolling, with no toll booths, no coin machines, no lines and no stopping. Drivers should not slow down or stop. Cameras will capture the license plates of drivers without transponders, and bills will be sent in the mail.
Drivers have the option of selecting a RiverLink local transponder or a RiverLink E-ZPass transponder. A RiverLink local transponder is free, one per registered vehicle. The small sticker adheres to the inside of the windshield, is non-transferable and works only on the Lewis and Clark, Lincoln and Kennedy bridges.
E-ZPass transponders from tolling systems in all 16 E-ZPass states are accepted by the RiverLink system. A RiverLink E-ZPass transponder costs $15. It’s portable from vehicle to vehicle registered to a single account and works in all E-ZPass states.
Drivers can register additional license plates to their RiverLink E-ZPass transponders online at www.RiverLink.com, by phone or in person at a customer service center.
Opening RiverLink accounts
Drivers can open accounts online at www.RiverLink.com, by phone at 855-RIV-LINK or in person at one of two customer service centers. The website is the fastest option to open an account. It’s open 24 hours a day/7 days a week with no wait. Customers opening accounts online or by phone will have their transponders mailed to them, once supplies are replenished.
More than 170,000 RiverLink transponders have been requested to date, including more than 140,000 RiverLink local transponders and more than 31,000 RiverLink E-ZPass transponders. More than 75,000 families and nearly 2,400 businesses have opened RiverLink accounts.
Just over 110,000 drivers are expected to use the tolled bridges each day.