Residents: “Refuse to Use Your EZ-Pass”

By: Robert Bumsted



We all know there's a 10 cent toll on the way for the Sakonnet River Bridge, but at this point, the state doesn't know how it will collect it.

The Rhode Island Bridge and turnpike Authority met for the first time Wednesday since the General Assembly made its last-minute decision to pass the toll last week.

They say the plan was to collect tolls with EZ-Passes and to mail bill to people who don't have them. But here's the problem: Mailing those bills costs $1.50, and the Authority says it will not charge people that much to collect the 10 cent toll.

Some critics of the bridge toll plan are using that problem as a way to boycott the tolls altogether.

“Refuse to use your EZ-Pass,” says John Vit, a member of the Portsmouth Business Owners Association. His organization has been lobbying to eliminate the bridge toll.

Vit now says if the Bridge Authority will not collect tolls from non EZ-Pass users, drivers should stow away their EZ-Pass transponders when they cross the bridge.

The chairman of the Turnpike and Bridge Authority told ABC6 Wednesday that he is not sure whether the state will collect the toll from non-EZ-Pass users. One possible solution, he said, would be sending out one large toll bill after drivers had crossed the bridge several times.