Last week Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed to phase in toll increases for trucks traveling the Indiana Toll Road (consisting of parts of I-80/90/94) over a four-year period. By 2009 trucks drivers will see toll rates more than double the 2005 rate, compared with automobile drivers who will see a near-doubling of rates, effective spring 2006.

A car toll traveling the entire 157-mi. span from the Ohio to Illinois border, now $4.65, would be $8. Vehicles with more than two axles will be included under the phase-in plan as follows:

  • 3 axles: $9.25 in 2006; $10, 2007; $10.75, 2008; $11.75, 2009
  • 4 axles: $13.75 in 2006; $17.50, 2007; $21, 2008; $24.50, 2009
  • 5 axles: $18 in 2006; $22.50, 2007; $27.25, 2008; $32, 2009
  • 6 axles: $21 in 2006; $26.50, 2007; $32, 2008; $37.50, 2009
  • 7 axles: $39 in 2006; $49.25, 2007; $59.50, 2008; $69.75, 2009

    The Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) along with other local trucking interests responded to the original “Major Moves” proposal with concerns that carriers will have difficulty adjusting contracts to ensure using the toll road remains a viable option.

    “We conferred with leaders of the trucking industry,” said Gov. Daniels, noting the 113% increase in rates. “Because Indiana seeks to become a logistics and distribution capital, we have made modifications to our original plan to respond to public concerns that we not induce any diversion of traffic off the Indiana Toll Road onto state and local roads.”

    The first tolls hikes are expected to be effective between late April and early May, according to the Governor’s office. The phase-in toll scheme is subject to Indiana DOT approval.

    IMTA has endorsed the phase-in proposal. Meanwhile the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA) has blasted Indiana’s overall transportation scheme. While OOIDA does favor the phase-in tolling method, Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vp is against the public-private partnership “to auction off the Indiana Toll Road to the highest bidder to raise money for other projects.”