Tolling remains steady on Louisville bridges

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2017) – 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, Aug. and Sept. 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.

“A transponder is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way for drivers to pay the tolls they owe,” said Scott Adams, Indiana Department of Transportation director of tolling for the Ohio River bridges. “It’s also the fastest and easiest way for the states to collect tolls, which is why drivers with transponders and prepaid accounts pay the lowest rates. If a driver has a RiverLink account in good standing and a transponder, there’s no need for an invoice.”

A transponder is a small electronic device placed inside the front windshield of a vehicle, and is used to detect crossings on a tolled facility. When an overhead sensor reads a transponder, the lowest toll rate is deducted from a prepaid account.

There were more than 7.7 million crossings on the three tolled bridges in the third quarter of the year, only a slight decrease from the second quarter, which included spring break and some of the summer travel season.

Third quarter crossings remained consistent on all three tolled bridges, the I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge, I-65 Kennedy Bridge and SR 265 Lewis and Clark Bridge.

There was only a slight increase in the number of drivers crossing tolled bridges with transponders. The average number of weekday drivers using transponders had climbed five percentage points since the first quarter of tolling. 

 

The number of drivers who qualify for the frequent-user discount has remained consistent, averaging around 7,200 drivers per month. 

 

The frequent-user discount is an automatic credit after 40 trips are posted on any of the three tolled bridges in a calendar month. The credit is 50 percent, and each additional trip that month is also discounted 50 percent.

The frequent-user discount is only for drivers in passenger vehicles with RiverLink personal accounts who maintain a positive balance. The frequent-user discount is per transponder, not per account.

The number of RiverLink prepaid accounts and the number of RiverLink local transponders and RiverLink E-ZPass transponders requested continued to grow at a steady pace.

The number of RiverLink prepaid accounts increased nearly 10 percent in the third quarter to more than 137,000 accounts. More than 300,000 transponders had been requested to date.

In the third quarter, $21.7 million was collected and split evenly between Indiana and Kentucky. An additional $2.8 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). Since the start of tolling on Dec. 30, 2016, more than $56.4 million has been collected and split evenly between the two states.

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