MHC signs onto joint statement regarding Ohio River bridges tolls

Several local agencies, including MHC, released the following statement on a lack of exception for low-income drivers and public transportation in planning for toll collection on the new Ohio River bridges:

In 2013, the Kentucky General Assembly passed HB 441, amending the tolling statute, KRS 175B.404, for the Ohio River Bridges Project. The amendment “recognizes the potential hardship for low income users” (K.R.S.175B.040 Section 3) and encourages the Kentucky and Indiana Transportation Cabinets and the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority to find ways to mitigate the financial impact of bridge tolls on persons with low incomes and to consider the feasibility of exempting mass transit vehicles from the payment of project tolls.

Unfortunately, the General Assembly’s encouragement was either not enough or fell on deaf ears. The Bridges Project recently announced it was unwilling or unable to consider mitigation or exemption from the tolls and did not include this in the draft plan. Even TARC is not exempted from the $10 charge to buses crossing the bridges.

Due to the Bridges Project’s inability to consider how these tolls will impact those who live and work within this community, it is imperative that we, as a community, speak up and voice our frustration with the current tolling plan. It is important that further considerations be made to help those who will commute to work across the river.

There is an opportunity for those who will be affected by the tolls and for those low income individuals and families in our community to comment on this plan and ask for waivers, tax credits or other discounts. The Bridges Project is intended to promote and develop our regional economy, not serve as an anchor limiting our ability to succeed and compete in the global marketplace.

The agencies below ask you to speak up at the public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, July 23, 2013 from 4-7 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. If you cannot attend, please comment at http://www.kyinbridges.com/.

Sincerely,
Metropolitan Housing Coalition
Coalition for the Homeless
Association of Community Ministries
Volunteers of America

The above agencies ask you to speak out at the
public hearing scheduled for
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 W Muhammad Ali Blvd.

If you cannot attend, please comment at http://www.kyinbridges.com/.