Last week was a big one for the truck stop/travel center industry. In the span of a few days:
- British oil mega-company bp announced it's buying TravelCenters of America
- Love's Travel Stops announced its plans for 2023, including opening 25 new locations
- Trucker Path announced its top-rated truck stops
- New York StateThruway Authority opened one of its remodeled and expanded service areas
Following up on Love's announcement, the Oklahoma-based company's plans ought to be good news for truckers. As part of its plan to open 25 new travel stops this year, is the creation of 1,500 new truck parking spaces. That equates to 60 new truck parking spots at each location.
When drivers responded to the latest survey of industry concerns by the American Transportation Research Institute, the said truck parking was their number one concern. In that same survey, motor carriers ranked parking as their 10th most important concern.
The creation of 1,500 new truck parking spaces is easily dismissed as "ONLY 1,500" parking spaces by truckers who struggle daily to find a safe place to park at the end of their driving day. And, there are plenty of such drivers.
It's easy to see why drivers may feel that way. The American Trucking Associations says fully 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because they cannot find a place to park. The federal Department of Transportation further estimates that 98% of truckers regularly experience problems finding parking. DOT says the problem is pretty much universal, with parking problems plaguing every state.
Still, those 1,500 new parking spaces will mean that many fewer drivers will be forced to park on the side of an interstate exit or entrance ramp or some other equally unsafe location.
bp's purchase of TA Petro electrifying
In its announcement about purchasing TravelCenters of America for $1.3 billion, London'-based bP mentioned the deal will enhance its efforts to provide service to the growing electric vehicle charging market.
BP has said its goal is to grow its global EV footprint by 2030 to over 100,000 charging points. As of mid-February, its charging points number 22,000.
Shortly before the bP deal's announcement, TA had an announcement of its own. It signed a deal with Electrify America to install 1,000 chargers at 200 locations in the next five years. The first of those chargers will be installed yet this year.