It should come as no surprise to anyone in the trucking industry that the lack of adequate truck parking has reached crisis levels. Study after study proves that drivers spend too much time searching for a spot to safely pull over, placing our industry’s workforce and the motoring public in unnecessary danger and leading to a loss of thousands of dollars per driver per year. This is a problem that can easily be remedied through dedicated federal funding for the creation of new truck parking spaces along America’s highway system.
Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL-12) and a bipartisan group of cosponsors have provided an avenue for the industry to achieve a solution – H.R. 2187, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. This bill would dedicate $755 million in funding over five years, representing a significant investment in resolving the current truck parking crisis. Funding would be awarded through a competitive grant program to eligible entities, including states, public agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governments. The private sector would also be able to partner with the groups listed above to carry out the projects.
Qualifying projects include the construction of safety rest areas with parking for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) as well as CMV parking facilities adjacent to private commercial truck stops and travel plazas; within the boundaries of, or adjacent to, a publicly owned freight facility; and at existing facilities, including inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride locations. Funding can also be used to convert existing weigh stations and rest areas to facilities for the exclusive use of truck parking. To be eligible for a grant, entities must agree not to charge fees for a truck to access and park at any part of the facility constructed with the funds provided through this legislation.
TCA strongly supports H.R. 2187, and we thank Congressman Bost for his continued leadership on truck parking. The Congressman grew up in a family trucking business, obtained his commercial driver’s license, and drove truck for many years. He brings a keen understanding of the challenges and obstacles faced by our industry to Congress, where the voice of truckload continues to be heard loud and clear.
Congressional supporters like Congressman Bost, who has firsthand trucking experience, are vital for the continued success of the truckload industry. But we can grow our list of allies through other means as well – most notably by engaging in conversations with lawmakers and telling truckload’s unique story. The current truck parking crisis deeply and uniquely affects truckload carriers, which is why TCA has encouraged members to become more involved in communicating their concerns to their elected officials on this issue. It is only by sharing the real-world stories of the safety and economic concerns at play that elected officials will become advocates on our behalf. If you are a TCA member and would like to help get H.R. 2187 past the finish line, reach out to us to learn more.