RiverLink, the tolling system for the Ohio River Bridges Project, has announced its first toll increase.
The toll rates rose as little as 5 cents for passenger vehicles with prepaid accounts and a transponder and as much as 30 cents for large 5-axle or more vehicles without an account or transponder.
The current toll rates for passenger vehicles range from $2 to $4, with frequent users with accounts and transponders saving $1.03 per crossing. To pay the lowest told rate, drivers must maintain a positive balance in their RiverLink account and avoid invoices.
Tolling started on Dec. 30, 2016, and is only charged on the Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy Memorial and Lewis and Clark bridges.
Tolls will rise every year on July 1 by either 2.5 percent or by the rate of inflation, whichever is higher. There is no end date or designated point of reevaluation to consider how much and whether tolls should increase.
A spokeswoman for RiverLink said the body that oversees the tolling system would have to vote to change the rules set in place.
According to the most recently available numbers, there were nearly 150,000 RiverLink prepaid accounts and nearly 335,000 transponders had been requested as of January.
During 2017, vehicles crossed one of the three tolled bridges almost 29.9 million times. That has resulted in the collection of more than $80.1 million in tolling fees during the first year of tolling.