Bridge transponders to be available July 21 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bridge transponders to be available July 21

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Drivers who plan on using new Ohio River toll bridges can set up accounts at two customer service centers, online or by phone starting next week, Kentucky and Indiana officials said Thursday.

The storefronts – at 400 E. Main Street in Louisville, across from Louisville Slugger Field, and at 103 Quartermaster Court in Jeffersonville – are set to open July 21 and keep hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

The customer service centers also will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays during the first year of tolling on the RiverLink system – the Interstate 65 Lincoln and Kennedy bridges, and a yet-to-be-named crossing between Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky.

Tolls will start as soon as repairs to the Kennedy Bridge are complete, or the eastern crossing is finished, said Megan McLain, innovative finance manager for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The states are targeting Dec. 9 to begin tolls, although she cautioned that schedules can change.

RiverLink’s toll network won’t have toll booths. Instead, cameras and other equipment near the bridges will record license plates or scan transponders on vehicles' windshields. Drivers without toll accounts -- linked either to the transponder or a license plate – will get a bill in the mail.

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McLain said recent tests on the toll system needed to open the accounts and take money were completed “very successfully.”

“We are now confident in that system for opening accounts and that is why we are ready to do this next week on the 21st,” she said.

The transponders to be made available next week will work only on the Louisville-area bridges. Those are free and can’t be moved between vehicles.

Another transponder that costs $15 and will work on E-ZPass toll roads in 16 states will be ready for purchase later this year, said Will Wingfield, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

“We’re going to make it available as soon as it works in all those other states,” he said. “You can go ahead and create your account now but we’ll mail it to you when it’s ready to work across the E-ZPass network.”

Transponders for motorcycles and some other vehicles also will be available later this year, officials said.

RiverLink will require a minimum balance of $20 for personal accounts, at $20 for each vehicle on a business or commercial account.

In addition to a car's make, model, year, color and license plate number, officials recommend choosing a nickname for each vehicle registered with RiverLInk.

About 30 people will work at the two customer service locations in the Louisville area and conduct technical support, officials said. Kapsch TrafficCom, the company hired by Indiana to oversee tolling for both states, filled the positions after advertising them online at indeed.com.

There were more than three times the number of applicants than available jobs, said Sara Wheeler, a Kapsch project manager.

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