The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) today announced that it will test the feasibility of all-electronic tolling at the Newport Pell Bridge with a 4-week pilot program on the eastbound side.

This pilot program will not be RITBA’s first all-electronic tolling initiative.

RITBA transitioned to all-electronic tolling in March 2020 for travel on the Bridge in both directions from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., which remains in place. The 4-week pilot program is an extension of the existing cashless operations. 

Starting February 14, 2021, RITBA will direct all traffic heading eastbound (towards Newport) through lanes that accommodate E-ZPass and bill by mail transactions. This will necessitate some toll booth lane closures. During the 4-week program, motorists heading eastbound will not be able to pay tolls by cash or credit card. Signs will direct motorists to keep moving and not to stop to ensure traffic safety.

RIDOT says that the tolls will be collected utilizing the existing open road tolling (ORT) technology. This technology reads E-ZPass transponders for tolling. If a vehicle does not have a transponder, a bill will be mailed to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle. The billed toll amount will be the same as if the vehicle was paying at the toll booth with cash or credit card. However, if the invoice is not paid on time, fees will be applied. 

The tolls can be paid via mail, at the drop box located at the Jamestown office, online at, or over the phone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-877-743-9727. RITBA is encouraging customers to sign up for E-ZPass and utilize the online tools available to manage their accounts and pay for tolls, as call volume is expected to increase as a result of these changes.

RITBA is asking its existing customers to log in to their accounts and update all vehicle, address, and credit card information to avoid unpaid tolls.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.