A bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives calls on the federal government to spend $755 million to build new truck parking along the federal highway system.
The bipartisan legislation was introduced Thursday, March 5 by Rep. Mike Bost (R-Illinois) and Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minnesota). The bill was sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which will have to pass it before it moves to a vote by the full House. It then would go to the Senate and on to the President for his signature.
“Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act,” calls for the Secretary of Transportation to allocate $755 million for truck parking over the next five years. The funds would come from the national highway performance, surface transportation block grant, highway safety improvement, and national highway freight programs.
Funds could only be used for projects that added truck parking capacity, including:
- Constructing new rest areas with commercial vehicle parking
- Constructing truck parking facilities, including adjacent to private truck stops and travel plazas, within or adjacent to publicly-owned freight facilities, and at existing facilities including inspection and weigh stations
- Converting existing weigh stations and rest areas to facilities for the exclusive use of truck parking
States, public agencies with responsibilities related to truck parking, metropolitan planning organizations and local governments would be eligible to receive funds. Those who receive funding would be limited to only using up to 25% of it for planning and development – the remaining 75% would have to be used for construction, property acquisition, and other activities directly related to adding truck parking capacity.
The bill also includes a prohibition on charging fees for trucks to park at locations constructed using allocated funds.
Trucking groups, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations, have applauded the measure.