The other plaintiffs were Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services Inc. and New England Motor Freight.
The state has collected about $101 million in tolls since 2018, including nearly $40 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to a state Transportation Department. Tolls are collected electronically via gantries spanning the state’s major highways.
The decision sets a standard that prevents other states from setting up similar tolling systems, said Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell.
“Had we not prevailed, these tolls would have spread across the country and this ruling sends a strong signal to other states that trucking is not to be targeted as a piggy bank,” he said.
Former Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill authorizing the tolls in 2016, and the state began collecting them in 2018. Raimondo justified tolling trucks, saying big rigs caused the most damage to roads.
The state is considering its options, according to a statement from the office of current Democratic Gov. Dan McKee. But the administration reiterated that it is not considering tolling passenger vehicles.
“As this ruling has just come out, our team is reviewing the decision and evaluating next steps,” the statement said.
The suit was at first dismissed by a federal district court which said it lacked jurisdiction and the case should be heard in state court. But t he 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2020 reversed the lower court ruling, sending it back to district court.