LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Ohio River Bridges Project leaders announced plans to implement electronic tolling along the Ohio River bridges come 2016.
Project members held a public briefing Tuesday detailing exactly how the electronic tolling would work.
"The simplest and least expensive way of paying a toll is with the use of electronic transponders," said Chuck Wolfe, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Affairs Executive Director. "It's a computer system."
Unlike traditional toll plazas, electronic tolling will incorporate the use of monitors that signal electric passes called transponders and video cameras that record license plates for billing purposes. The monitors and video cameras will be mounted above the bridges on overhead gantries.
"[Transponders] emit a signal that is picked up by a receiver on an overhead gantry and then it'll automatically debit an account that you have created," explained Wolfe. "That is how your toll is paid."
For drivers with transponders, tolls will be automatically debited from a pre-paid account. Drivers without transponders will be mailed invoices based from the video recordings of license plate numbers.There will not be a cash collection option on the bridge crossings.
"People who opt for the transponders pay the lowest toll rates," said Wolfe. "When you get it in the mail, it costs more to process a toll that way than it does electronically. That's why you can expect to pay the highest toll rates for that."
Wolfe said initial toll rates will not be set until after a meeting of the Tolling Body and Joint Board on September 5. However, targeted toll rates for vehicles with transponders are as follows:
- $1 per crossing for "frequent commuters" in passenger vehicles or on motorcycles
- $2 per crossing for cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles crossing the bridges infrequently
- $5 per crossing for panel or box trucks
- $10 per crossing for semi-trucks or tractor trailer rigs
On Friday, August 30 members of the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA) will meet at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in Frankfort to receive an in-depth study that will help make tolling and financing decisions regarding the project.
In September, KPTIA members will again meet to authorize toll rates and the sale of bonds. Later in the fall, decisions are expected on the federal TIFIA financing application and Kentucky's sale of bonds.