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DOT unlocks money for clean-truck parking capacity

$6.4 billion Carbon Reduction Program encourages states to fund electrification at truck stops

States have new source of federal funding for truck parking. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves).

The Biden administration wants to leverage funds from a new pot of $6.4 billion earmarked for pollution-cutting transportation projects to boost much-needed truck parking capacity across the country.

The money will flow to individual states through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The five-year program was authorized by the federal infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden last year.

State5-year total (millions)
New York$257.8
North Carolina$171.0
Top 10 states by CRP funding level. Source: FHWA

“As the sector generating the most carbon emissions in the U.S. economy, transportation must play a leading role in solving the climate crisis,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement released Thursday. “The [CRP] will help reduce pollution from transportation and move us closer to the President’s ambitious goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030.”

Texas, California and Florida topped the money list of states receiving funds (see table).

Guidance released by FHWA outlining eligible CRP projects noted that truck parking shortages “are a national concern affecting the efficiency of U.S. supply chains and safety for truck drivers and other roadway users.” It emphasized that CRP funds can be used for a project on an eligible facility — such as a truck stop — that reduces transportation emissions.

Advanced truck stop electrification systems “may support progress toward the achievement of national performance goals for improving infrastructure condition, safety, congestion reduction, system reliability, or freight movement” on the national highway system, FHWA pointed out.

“States should consider working with private sector truck stop operators and the trucking community in the siting and development of specific truck parking projects. States also are encouraged to offer opportunities for input from commercial motor vehicle drivers and truck stop operators through their State Freight Advisory Committees.”

A grant program dedicated to truck parking was initially included in — but then negotiated out of — the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law. Questioned by lawmakers at a Senate hearing in March on the administration’s efforts to address the lack of truck parking, Buttigieg referenced the CRP as a potential funding source.

Other freight-related projects eligible for funding in the CRP include diesel engine retrofits for trucks, as well as projects that deploy smart transportation systems and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications equipment, including retrofitting dedicated short-range communications technology deployed as part of an existing pilot program to cellular vehicle-to-everything technology. 

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.