16,000 Kentuckians could have vehicle registration placed on hold due to unpaid bridge tolls, Transportation Cabinet says

10/03/2017 04:12 PM

FRANKFORT — Thousands of Kentuckians with unpaid bridge tolls in Louisville could have their vehicle registrations placed on hold if they don’t pay up, an official with the Transportation Cabinet told lawmakers Tuesday.

Megan McLain, innovative finance manager for the cabinet, offered an update on the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Projects during an Interim Joint Committee on Transportation meeting in the Capitol Annex.

She said the tolling on the newly built spans in Louisville’s downtown and East End have met or exceeded expectations since the project launched Dec. 30.

About 80,000 vehicles cross the bridges each day, with 65 percent of those registered with a RiverLink transponder, McLain said. That makes it far easier to collect tolls than the alternative, which requires mailed bills to drivers after their license plates are photographed.

In all, RiverLink has collected $50.2 million, she said. Half that amount goes to the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority for bond interest payments and road and toll maintenance.

That number will rise not only as more drivers cross the tolled bridges, but also as some pay off delinquent tolls and late fees.

Those who don’t risk having their vehicle registrations placed on hold, McLain said, with 16,000 Kentuckians and even more Hoosiers owing RiverLink. That action will come in mid-October following a pair of mailed invoices, a violation notice and a collections notice, the latter of which includes a $60 late fee.

“There are four notices that are provided,” McLain said. “It’s over a period of over 100 days that you haven’t paid your toll before a hold would be placed on your vehicle registration. There’s also notice that a hole will be placed on the vehicle registration provided before it is placed.”

McLain also highlighted “significant” customer service improvements at RiverLink as waiting times dropped from more than an hour initially to less than a minute, although hurricanes Harvey and Maria have doubled that time to about two minutes recently.

“We did see a slight uptick in call-wait times with some of the hurricanes,” she said. “Our main call center in Austin, Texas, was somewhat affected by the hurricane in Houston, and then one of our spillover call centers is in Puerto Rico, so we’ve had some issues there.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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