• ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
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  • OTVI.USA
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    64.000
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  • TLT.USA
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    3.040
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
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    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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    0.000
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  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

OOIDA will push for more truck parking in next Congress

Group says it will seek public funding in next highway bill reauthorization

Legislation to improve truck parking capacity that is likely to die in the current Congress will be a priority once the new one convenes in January, a major owner-operator group has confirmed.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which worked to get bipartisan truck parking legislation introduced in March incorporated into a major infrastructure package passed by the House of Representatives in July, will likely see both efforts come up short as no action on either bill is expected by the end of the year.

However, “the parking issue is one that we’ve been fighting for years, and we’ll continue to push for that in the next highway bill or any standalone legislative opportunity as well,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh told FreightWaves.

The legislation introduced in March would have provided $755 million over the next five years to build new spaces for truck parking or convert existing weigh stations and rest stops.

The proposal, which had the support of the American Trucking Associations, the National Association of Small Trucking Companies and the Truckload Carriers Association, was watered down after getting folded into the $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act, which allocated just $250 million for fiscal year 2023.

“Our plan had been to build on that during negotiations with the House and Senate on a highway bill reauthorization – we wanted it over a longer period of time and for more money,” Pugh said. However, reauthorization of the current bill, known as the FAST Act, is not likely to happen before the bill expires at the end of September and therefore is expected to be extended for up to one year.

NATSO, which represents truck stop operators and travel plazas, has tended to oppose public funding for truck parking, especially at public rest areas that are allowed to sell amenities such as food and fuel that compete directly with private truck stops.

The association contends that carriers need to prioritize truck parking in their contract negotiations similar to how they negotiate for fuel.

“We need to change the thinking on behalf of trucking companies [so] that this is an issue that they care about enough to make it part of their negotiations,” according to NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings, speaking at a recent transportation planning workshop. “They will move to another fuel location over a half a cent price difference in a gallon of fuel. Surveys show truck parking is important to them, but we haven’t seen that in their negotiations.”

In addition to truck parking legislation, OOIDA has urged Congress to refrain from including increases in motor carriers’ existing insurance liability coverage in the next surface transportation reauthorization. The infrastructure package that passed in July had included a provision to hike truckers’ insurance coverage from $750,000 to $2 million.

“An increase in insurance requirements is both unnecessary and impractical with the result having little to do with improving highway safety,” OOIDA stressed in a Sept. 8 letter to lawmakers. “Furthermore, the addition of these requirements would negatively impact a wide range of industries that are crucial to our states and the nation.”

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

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.

6 Comments

  1. Jason’s Law made truck parking an eligible activity for States who take transportation funds in 2015. The Jason’s Law Safe truck parking movement began in 2009 after the murder of Jason Rivenburg. OOIDA declined to help Hope Rivenburg in 2009 but now they want to erase her amazing work to put their name of a 10 year foundation of her efforts. They did this on the 11th anniversary of her husband’s murder and while she is enduring chemotherapy for cancer.
    Jason’s Law is already the law of the land thanks to the courage and commitment of Hope Rivenburg.
    10 years of activity has occurred on this issue with little coverage by this industry.
    I’ve personally attended many meetings with these so called stakeholders where they play on their phone and tablets more than solve problems.
    The national highway freight program came as a result of Jason’s Law. Some states are already using the freight formula properly to apply for eligible truck parking funds. Education is lacking on this.
    OOIDA fails to cite a decade of work under Jason’s Law on this issue. Numerous educational meetings have been held in different States and hosted by MPO’s every year for the past 5 years, even during the Pandemic where zoom meetings have allowed more access to truck drivers. These state and local meetings are people who want to learn more about existing eligible truck parking funding. They want to help on the truck parking issue if someone will help them navigate existing eligible activity funding. Many of these meetings myself and members of our organization are the only truck drivers present. No one from OOIDA and occasionally someone from a state Trucking association that doesn’t drive.This is how this industry wastes time and resources pushing paper around making it seem like they are doing something when they aren’t. Much of it to grandstand rather than improve conditions. We have begun our own letter writing campaign this past 2 weeks to restore the name of Jason’s Law to the truck parking issue that many people worked so hard on. It begun as HR 2156 in 2009 and now resides in section 1401 of map-21. Look it up and find out why the most recent work survey on this issue has never been released. Who is preventing this? #JasonsLaw #TruckParking #NeverForgetJasonsLaw #NTDAW

    1. Desiree, I am confused. Do you oppose a bill that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars for truck parking projects – and ONLY truck parking projects that increase capacity? Seems like the status quo of having these projects compete with other state/local priorities like you described isn’t working out well for truckers who need more spaces. It also isn’t helping that what little federal funding has been devoted to truck parking through the existing programs you discuss has mostly gone to technology projects that do nothing to improve capacity. Can you clarify – do you support or oppose the bill?

  2. Candace that was well said, I was wondering the same thing. It seems any parking legislation that would actually add new spots would be helpful. I don’t understand how any of this is harmful. Calling out OOIDA makes no sense I remember them supporting Jason’s Law. Didn’t they also host some sort of parking information study at their office that had to do with Jason’s Law a few years ago. A driver friend of mine Pat was there along with Hope he told me about it. It seems this is how we as truckers shoot ourselves in the foot. Instead of standing as one we just rather throw stones at each other and nothing ever gets done.

  3. We need a lot more parking in both the U S and Canada and Mexico. The parking should have bathrooms and where possible have 20 percent of the parking with electric plugs. This is to reduce greenhouse gases.

  4. I’m surprised the likes of Amazon or Walmart haven’t gotten into the truckstop business.

    In the case of Amazon, drivers could order something on their app and have it delivered to a stop they know they’re going to be at a day or two down the line, or if they’re doing a reset.

    In the case of Walmart, they could outfit existing stores with actual truck parking, or make whole new smaller stores in travel center form along major and minor highways that have everything you’d find in a good Petro or T/A.

    1. Don’t be surprised at Walmart isn’t already in it but the point is on the parking part that will never happen ever but they will make sure that there’s enough parking for RVs people with boats all the camping people with the trucking industry if they don’t get everybody to stand together it will never happen

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