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Resolution Passed to Update RiverLink Business Rules

Resolution Passed to Update RiverLink Business Rules

Conversion offer will be extended in the coming year

The Joint Board and Tolling Body met today and approved resolutions ratifying selection of a new toll services advisor (TSA) and amending business rules for RiverLink, the all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.

The Joint Board approved a resolution authorizing the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) to procure the services of HNTB Corporation to serve as a toll oversight advisor (TSA) after the previous contract expired at the end of 2018.  HNTB was selected after a request for proposals was issued this fall.

The Tolling Body, the group that sets tolling policies, passed a resolution making several changes to the business rules. Several of the changes are designed to update, refine and better define the framework for operations of the tolling system.

“We are approaching the end of our second year of tolling,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manger with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “The resolutions passed today reflect some of the changing needs of our maturing tolling system. Many are housekeeping issues to ensure our business rules are up to date and reflect day-to-day operations of the tolling system. We also want business rules to reflect updates expected in 2019.”

Updated Customer Service Hours

The new year will bring updated hours for RiverLink customer service centers. Two customer service centers and the customer call center are currently open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Customer service needs have decreased in the second year of tolling. By summer 2019, customer service hours are expected to change to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Customer service is always available online, 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

 Inactivity Fee

Kentucky and Indiana have yet to institute inactivity fees for account holders, and updated business rules reflect that the fees are not in effect at this point. After 365 days of inactivity, the states can charge an inactivity fee of $5 a month until an account is depleted and the account is closed. The inactivity fee is designed to clear the books after an extended time of inactivity. Customers would first receive a notice of an approaching inactivity fee. As a new tolling system, the states have not found the need to implement the inactivity fee at this point.

Auto-Replenishment

If the payment method on file fails multiple times, the customers will be notified, and the payment source will be removed from the account.

 Refunds

Refunds are provided in the form of payment received. Only full refunds are applied to credit card payments. Any partial refunds are provided by check.

 Pay-by-Plate Business Rules

The updated business rule reflects that drivers who sign up for Pay by Plate notifications are notified of crossings on tolled bridges for a period of 30 days.

Dispute Process

For disputes taken over the phone by a customer service representative that require documentation, drivers must provide required documentation within 15 days. If the documentation is not provided, the dispute will be rejected.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Toll rates are adjusted yearly on July 1. Rates increase annually by 2.5 percent, unless the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) is higher. Amended business rules clarify which index is being used to determine CPI.

Extended Conversion Offer in 2019

“We’re always evaluating the tolling system and working to make it the best it can be for our customers,” said Paul Boone, Indiana Department of Transportation interim director of tolling for the Ohio River bridges. “This past year, we added a Pay by Plate option for drivers without prepaid accounts and transponders. In the coming year, we’ll make it easier for drivers who owe back tolls to open an account and save money.”

A one-time conversion offer allows drivers who owe back tolls to have tolls lowered to transponder rates and late fees waived when they open a prepaid account. The offer is currently available to drivers who have not reached collection status (4th toll notice). By summer 2019, the one-time offer is expected to be available to all drivers who owe back tolls, including drivers who have received a collection notice.

Another updated business rule would allow the states to authorize an amnesty period at a future date. Late fees would be waived if tolls are paid in full. There are currently no plans to implement an amnesty period, but the new rule provides a future option to collect outstanding tolls.

Joint Board and Tolling Body

 The Joint Board and Tolling Body include transportation and finance leaders from Indiana and Kentucky. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) commissioner, the Indiana public finance director, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet secretary and the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA) chairman, or their designees, make up the Joint Board. The Tolling Body includes the four Joint Board members and an appointed member from each state.

The Tolling Body sets tolling policies. The Joint Board was created to have long-term oversight and management responsibility for the Ohio Rivers Bridges Project.

Bi-state tolling representatives handle the day-to-day administration of the tolling system.

Note: Resolutions and supporting documents from the meeting will be posted at https://riverlink.com/about/joint-board/.

Annual Progress Report

The Annual Progress Report summarizes 2017 activities and accomplishments of RiverLink, the bi-state tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The Report includes an assessment of transponder usage by members of Environmental Justice (EJ) communities and will serve as a baseline for future assessments and recommendations.

Read the full Annual Report here.

Pay By Plate Allows Drivers to Pay Tolls Online

Pay By Plate Allows Drivers to Pay Tolls Online

Drivers using the tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana have a new option for paying tolls. Pay by plate allows drivers who do not have a prepaid account and transponder to pay tolls owed online, before receiving an invoice.

“During our first year of tolling, we heard from many drivers who didn’t want to wait for an invoice in order to pay their tolls online,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “Pay by plate gives customers an option to quickly and easily pay tolls owed soon after crossing the bridges.”

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E-Z to Travel Toll Roads in Central Florida

Central Florida Expressway Authority to Accept E-ZPass

It just got easier for some drivers in the area to travel on toll roads in central Florida. The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX/“E-PASS”) will start accepting E-ZPass transponders on September 1. CFX is the first Florida toll agency to join the E-ZPass network, bringing the total number of states served by E-ZPass to 17 (see map below).

All E-ZPass transponders, including RiverLink E-ZPass transponders, are accepted on CFX’s 118-mile toll system, including the Metro Orlando area. CFX/“E-PASS” maintains a regional network of expressways in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

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Crossings on Tolled Bridges Reach New Highs

Callers connecting with customer service faster than ever

Crossings on the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana reached new highs in the second quarter and the time it took to connect with a customer service representative reached an all-time low.

There were 8.4 million total crossings on the bridges in April, May and June. This was the first time quarterly crossings topped 8 million. There were more than 103,000 average weekday crossings on the bridges in June, marking the first time the monthly average topped 100,000 crossings. In the second quarter of the year, the average time it took to answer a call to customer service was 20 seconds, the best quarterly average to date.
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Reminder: New Toll Rates Begin Sunday

Toll rates are updated every July 1

New toll rates for the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana begin this weekend. The new rates are effective Sunday, July 1. The 2.5 percent increase is the first rate increase for RiverLink, the tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Toll rates increase annually by 2.5 percent, unless the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) is higher.

The new toll rate for a passenger vehicle with a prepaid account and transponder is $2.05 per crossing. The current toll rate is $2 per crossing.

Drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders pay the lowest toll rates. With the new rates, the savings will be more than $2 per crossing. Account holders must maintain a positive account balance to pay the lowest rates and avoid invoices. The easiest way to always have an account in good standing is by choosing auto-replenishment and linking the account to a valid payment method.

RiverLink is all-electronic tolling, with no stopping, no slowing, no lines and no coin machines. New toll rates range from $2.05-$12.30, depending on the size of the vehicle. Tolling is in place on the I-65 Abraham Lincoln Bridge, I-65 Kennedy Bridge and SR 265/KY 841 Lewis and Clark Bridge connecting Prospect, Ky. and Utica, Ind.

Reminder: New Toll Rates Effective July 1

Toll rates are updated every year

New toll rates for the three tolled bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana begin July 1, 2018. The 2.5 percent increase is the first rate increase for RiverLink, the tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Tolling, a bi-state effort between Indiana and Kentucky, started Dec. 30, 2016. Toll rates increase annually by 2.5 percent, unless the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) is higher. Tolls increase every July 1, beginning in 2018. There was not an increase in 2017 because tolling had been in place for less than a year.

The new toll rate for a passenger vehicle with a prepaid account and transponder is $2.05 per crossing. The current toll rate is $2 per crossing.

Drivers with prepaid accounts and transponders pay the lowest toll rates. With the new rates, the savings will be more than $2 per crossing. Account holders must maintain a positive account balance to pay the lowest rates and avoid invoices. The easiest way to always have an account in good standing is by choosing auto-replenishment and linking the account to a valid payment method.

 

Start Clean This Spring: Have Tolls Lowered and Late Fees Waived

New online feature off to a fast start with 1,000 new accounts opened

RiverLink is offering Louisville-area drivers a fast and easy way to save time and money with a new online feature. Drivers who pay by mail can convert higher toll charges to the lowest available rates and have late fees waived when they open a prepaid RiverLink account. Since launching in late February, more than 1,000 drivers have chosen the online conversion offer and opened accounts. Those drivers have saved nearly $30,000 in total toll and fee adjustments.

“Hundreds of people have already taken advantage of the savings,” said Scott Adams, Indiana Department of Transportation director of tolling for the Ohio River bridges. “The new online account conversion is fast and easy, and drivers who sign up for accounts immediately see how much money they’re saving. This is just one example of RiverLink’s efforts to improve the customer experience, and more changes are on the way.” read more…

A Year of RiverLink Tolling, A Year of Growth

Number of prepaid accounts and transponders nearly doubles

The first year of tolling on three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana saw significant growth in the number of RiverLink prepaid accounts and the number of RiverLink transponders requested. Nearly 150,000 RiverLink prepaid accounts were opened in the first year of tolling and nearly 335,000 transponders requested.

“We’re encouraged to see both the number of RiverLink accounts opened and transponders requested nearly double in the first year of tolling,” said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “But, we want to see more drivers crossing the bridges with transponders in this second year of tolling. Having a prepaid account and transponder is the easiest and most cost-effective way to cross a tolled bridge. It saves drivers money.”

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Tolling Body Supports Pay-By-Plate Option

Other improvements planned for RiverLink

The Joint Board and Tolling Body met today and approved amendments to bylaws and amended business rules for RiverLink, the all-electronic tolling system for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.

The Joint Board and Tolling Body include transportation and finance leaders from Indiana and Kentucky. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) commissioner, the Indiana public finance director, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet secretary and the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA) chairman, or their designees, make up the Joint Board. The Tolling Body includes the four Joint Board members and an appointed member from each state.

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