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Senate proposes $755 million for truck parking

Companion to House measure sponsored with bipartisan support

Senate truck parking bill sets aside $755 million over four years. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Senate lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday that would set aside $755 million in competitive grants over four years to expand much-needed truck parking across the country.

The bipartisan Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., will serve as companion legislation to a House version introduced last year and approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in July.

Like the House bill, which currently has 25 Republican and 14 Democratic co-sponsors, the Senate bill allows for public-private projects that create new parking areas or expand parking existing facilities, and projects that allow for commercial parking at existing weigh stations, rest areas, and park-and-ride facilities.

Unlike the House bill, however, the Senate bill would also allow for truck parking expansion at commercial truck stops and travel plazas.

The American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association championed that legislation in a joint letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in February. Both had similar praise for the bill introduced on Thursday.

“There is only 1 parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer.


“When truck drivers don’t have a designated place to park, they end up parking on the side of the road, near exit ramps, or elsewhere. This isn’t safe for the driver and it’s not safe for others on the road. Senator Lummis and Senator Kelly have heard from small business truckers and are taking meaningful steps to increase truck parking capacity.”

ATA President Chris Spear asserted that a shortage of truck parking “continues to strain our supply chain and jeopardize highway safety for all motorists. This carefully crafted legislation provides needed investments to remedy the problem while incentivizing public-private partnerships to further expand truck parking capacity.”

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

8 Comments

  1. Beau DuBois

    The issue is very serious because truck drivers are now getting cited for parking on off-ramps and other areas due to parking areas being unavailable. You want us to be in compliance with our logs but when we are out of time there is nowhere to park. The truck stops are full, there are no public places to park, so where do we go???
    Before you know we are receiving log book violations for driving over our limits due to having to drive around and search for a safe place to get some rest so we can start over again in ten hours. For once do something to assist those of us that bring the needed items to the American public.

  2. Kirk

    Yea we truck driver need more places to park. At any given time truck stop are full or the majority of the spots are for reserved parking, which doesn’t make any sense. If it wouldn’t be for us the us the truck stops wouldn’t be in business and they want to charge us 25.00 to park as well as charge us an enormous price for fuel.

  3. C. Loyal aka Drag Addict

    How about give that money to the drivers that’s been running for years and treated like crap! How about $5000 government check every year for drivers with two yrs or more experience and still active? How about free counseling for couples that’s on thin ice due to our long periods on the road? How four weeks of paid vacation each year to be at the driver’s discretion? How about some government paid college tuition for drivers that want to farther the education? How about some deep federal investigations into these companies that are robbing drivers of their worked wages? Scam leasing companies in particular. How about some daycare vouchers for our female and male truckers that are over the road and or local drivers? How about some freaking back pay for drivers that literally broke the HOS laws to deliver must needed products such as s*** paper during the COVID-19 pandemic? How about some free winter clothing vouchers for our men and women truck drivers busting a** over there in Rockies, mid West and northeast regions? How about some free mental health care for truck drivers with five or more years experience because we have to be mentally screwed up in the head by now…to be continued!

  4. Paul T Clark

    It only benefits truck stops to increase parking which would, in turn, increase revenue. All rest areas should allow overnight parking, which some don’t. That’s ridiculous of course. All anyone needs to do is open their eyes to see rest areas need to expand truck parking almost everywhere. Take a look at Cave City on I65 in Kentucky if you want to see it done right. It’s about time. Better overbuild, as trucks are only going to increase.

  5. Ben Dover

    Loves Truck stops reduced parking at numerous locations to add tire repair shops. Now they will be getting tax dollars to replace the truck parking spots they annihilated ???

    Flying J did the same thing except the parking spots were eliminated for natural gas fueling that no one uses. But they did that with tax credits to build them.

    At Pilot/Flying J many of the parking spots are reserved pay spots. So tax dollars are going to be used to create pay parking???
    The tax money should only be invested in public parking areas at rest areas.

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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.