140082526 | Vitpho | Dreamstime.com
65b7a56c0b4aed001e882037 Dreamstime L 140082526

Feds to fund $300M in truck parking improvements

Jan. 29, 2024
New investments from the DOT aim to improve truck parking in Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Transportation plans to invest $300 million in truck parking projects in seven states to help alleviate one of the most significant problems in the trucking industry. 

"The severe shortage of truck parking continues to rank among drivers' highest concerns, which is why we appreciate that Secretary Buttigieg and a growing number of states are making these projects a top priority," said Chris Spear, American Trucking Associations president and CEO, in a press release. "America's highways are our shop floor. When drivers finish their shifts, they deserve to know that they can find a safe place to sleep that night. These significant investments in expanding parking capacity along some of America's busiest freight corridors will help reduce supply chain bottlenecks, alleviate stress on truck drivers, and make the roadways safer for all motorists."

Last year, the American Transportation Research Institute named truck parking the second biggest issue the trucking industry faces in its annual Critical Issues in the Industry report, topped only by the economy. 

According to the ATA, these federal investments will add about 1,000 new truck parking spaces in Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. This funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program. 

See also: Truck parking 2024 outlook: Optimistic but no miracles

Here is how the INFRA funding is being allocated, according to the DOT:

Florida: $180 million for 917 spaces at four locations on Interstate 4. According to the DOT: "The project addresses the shortage of overnight parking for commercial motor vehicles on the National Highway System in this region, which also reduces safety issues such as fatigue and unauthorized parking, which is a known issue in the project areas. The project will also incorporate zero-emission vehicle (charging) infrastructure."

Missouri: Almost $93 million for improvements to Interstate 70, including new parking capacity. According to the DOT: "The project will address major safety issues, reducing potential crashes by up to 42% and providing new dedicated truck parking facilities to reduce the need for unauthorized parking."

Pennsylvania: $40.8 million for a project at Lehigh Valley International Airport, which includes building a safe truck parking area to end the current practice of parking off-site in unauthorized locations nearby. 

California, Oregon, and Washington: $12.3 million for an Interstate 5 truck parking information management system to provide real-time parking availability. According to the DOT, this change will reduce fatalities and injuries and protect truck drivers. Drivers can access the parking information in four ways: "a website/mobile application, an application program interface, an in-cab system, and dynamic parking availability signs."

Wisconsin: $8 million to add 54 spaces on Interstate 90 and build out real-time information system technology. According to the DOT, this project will increase available truck parking in the area by 430% and add new technology to show parking availability. 

See also: Trucker Path offers discounted, reserved truck parking

Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, noted what parking means to drivers: 

"As a truck driver, I can tell you firsthand that when truckers don't have a safe place to park, we are put in a no-win situation," Spencer said in a statement. "We must either continue to drive while fatigued or out of legal driving time or park in an undesignated and unsafe location like the side of the road or abandoned lot. It forces truck drivers to make a choice between safety and following federal Hours-of-Service rules. OOIDA and the 150,000 small business truckers we represent thank the Department for its increased focus on resolving an issue that has plagued our industry for decades."

What comes next?

While this new funding will help with the truck parking problem, it won't solve it. FleetOwner recently spoke with Chris Oliver, growth catalyst and strategic advisor with Trucker Path, about the outlook for truck parking in 2024.

"[Parking] is not something that gets fixed quickly and easily," Oliver said. "I think the raised awareness will certainly contribute to it not getting worse, but I don't expect it to magically improve and become amazing this year."

But there is some hope for truck parking in 2024. In addition to this recent funding from the DOT, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act could see some movement in 2024. The act was introduced in Congress last year and would authorize $755 million in competitive grant funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity across the U.S. if enacted. But experts like Oliver want to remind the industry that legislation isn't everything.

"The government is not going to fix this problem," Oliver said. "They can certainly help create some momentum and even earmark some dollars, but this is something that the private sector really needs to focus on… Ultimately, it's those of us in the private sector that really need to band together, execute our plans, and then work on making it easy for drivers to find those parking spaces."

About the Author

Jenna Hume | Digital Editor

Digital Editor Jenna Hume previously worked as a writer in the gaming industry. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing from Truman State University and a master of fine arts degree in writing from Lindenwood University. She is currently based in Missouri. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...