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National Coalition on Truck Parking: Funding, Finance, and Regulations Working Group Meeting 2 - February 22, 2018

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National Coalition on Truck Parking: Funding, Finance, and Regulation Working Group Meeting 2 - February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018

A recording of this meeting is available upon request.


  • Lisa Mullings (NATSO)
  • Tiffany Wlazlowski-Neuman (NATSO)


  • Tiffany Julien (FHWA)
  • Jeff Purdy (FHWA)
  • Jordan Wainer (Volpe)

Welcome and Introduction

Tiffany welcomed the group and listed the priorities that were identified in the first meeting of the Working Group.

She went over the agenda for the day and stated that the goal of today's Working Group meeting is to discuss potential products and deliverables related to the previously-identified priorities, and share examples that currently exist in the market. Following that discussion, the Working Group will identify individuals who can champion the various products to bring the information to interested truck parking stakeholders.

Champion Meeting Debrief

Tiffany stated that she met with Tiffany Julien (FHWA), Jeff Purdy (FHWA), Jordan Wainer (Volpe), and Kara Chisholm (Volpe) following the first meeting of the Working Group to discuss in more detail the priority area products identified in the first Working Group meeting. Tiffany described the priority area products, and then asked Working Group members to provide examples that could be included in each of the products.

Priority Areas Established in First Meeting:

  1. Use public-private partnerships for new parking.
  2. Explore dedicated funds from existing sources.
  3. Provide a guidebook on capital and operating costs of truck parking.
  4. CMAQ Funding.

Potential Priority Area Products

  1. One-pager noting case studies of successful truck parking P3s, specifically States building additional parking adjacent to private truck stops, with the private truck stops providing site control and maintenance.
    • Tiffany Wlazlowski-Neuman started the discussion off by describing the Interstate Oasis Program. This program was developed under the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" Act (SAFETEA-LU). The Interstate Oasis Program allows a truck stop to partner with a State Department of Transportation (DOT). If the truck stop agrees to provide parking for commercial and non-commercial vehicles, be open for 24 hours per day, and allow customers to use the restroom without making a purchase, the DOT would allow the rest area to have signage on the interstate directing drivers to a "public/private rest area." The program was implemented in Utah and a few other States, but there is generally a lack of awareness about the program.
    • State-constructed parking adjacent to a truck stop: In Utah, the State constructed parking adjacent to a Flying J truck stop and entered into an agreement with the truck stop for joint operation and maintenance. Utah recently prepared an RFP to determine what sort of partnership would work between the DOT and truck stops, what responsibilities would the truck stop be willing to take on, etc. Tiffany Wlazlowski-Neuman asked the State whether they would be willing to document their RFP process to serve as a case study. The State seemed ready and eager to do that.
      • In Fernley, Nevada, the State constructed a gravel lot on State-owned land adjacent to an existing parking lot at a truck stop.
    • One Working Group member stated that the Wyoming DOT has recently researched using tolls to fund safety improvements along Interstate-80. The Working Group member wondered whether the Group could use Interstate tolls to fund the Interstate Oasis Program in the future. FHWA responded that although this might be possible in the future, it would be best for the Working Group to focus on work that can be done within the confines of existing regulations.
    • There are some legal barriers to using public money for public/private infrastructure. A product for this group could be to create model legislation, or provide general guidance on how States could allow for programs like the Interstate Oasis Program to help them supplement truck parking capacity provided by the private sector.
    • A Working Group member stated that truck parking is often located adjacent to vacant land, but it can be prohibitively expensive for States to purchase and develop that land for truck parking. Whatever the Working Group can do to assist the States in using the vacant land for truck parking would be beneficial. State governments should also make it easier to expand their truck parking facilities on their land.
    • One Working Group member noted that many municipalities are reluctant to zone for truck parking because using land for that purpose doesn't generate as much revenue as another commercial use might.
    • Another Working Group member noted that States might need to provide money to the private sector to build the parking, since a return on investment sometimes isn't there due to drivers and fleet operators being unwilling to pay for parking.
    • Working Group members then discussed the details of how truck parking supply and demand operate, and how that dynamic influences developing truck parking.
      • One Working Group member stated that he has heard from truck drivers that they often look for low-cost or free parking. In areas of high demand, there are certain vendors who charge drivers to park if the driver doesn't purchase food or services. If truck drivers aren't willing to pay for parking, this could be why there isn't motivation on behalf of the private sector to develop more truck parking–there is no return on investment for the parking provider.
      • Most private parking facilities allow truck drivers to park for free for their full 30-hour restart. The majority of carriers do not reimburse truck drivers for parking. Owner/operators decide where to park, and whether to pay for parking, depending on where the stop is located on their route, and what amenities the facility has.
      • A Working Group member stated that it would be useful to better understand what's drawing drivers to particular facilities. There are some shippers and receivers that have contracts with major fleets, for example. States should be aware of which trucks are in their jurisdiction.
    • A Working Group member stated that one potentially simple way to provide additional parking would be to have a group of facilities that share an industrial area hire an operator to operate truck parking in their area. This could make the business in that area more valuable because they provide the facilities necessary for truck drivers to operate more efficiently. The Working Group isn't aware of any instances of this.
    • In Miami Gardens, FL, a private owner along with the Florida DOT had proposed a project to improve parking at a truck stop by entering into a 20-year lease agreement for $1, but the deal ended up falling through. It's difficult to find private owners willing to temporarily transfer land titles to the public sector.
    • Assessment districts can be established where businesses pay into a fund that goes toward operating a shared truck parking facility. This could be done for an industrial park or a group of commercial businesses that attract a large amount of truck traffic. These shared parking facilities could be operated by an outside company.
    • Industry could work with Metropolitan Planning Organizations to conduct a site suitability study that designates areas in their plans for truck parking facilities.
  2. Explore dedicated truck parking funds from existing sources.
    (No discussion in addition to what was discussed in reference to the one-pager).
  3. Brochure/pamphlet on capital and operating costs of truck parking.
    • Tiffany Wlazlowski-Neuman offered that NATSO will reach out to its members to collect and compile information for this product.
    • Working Group members would like to know how long to expect amenities to last before needing to be replaced, and the maintenance required.
  4. CMAQ funding one-pager on the eligibility of distributing funding to States and examples of where States have used CMAQ funding to reduce truck idling or do truck stop electrification projects.
    • FHWA representatives shared that they found examples of projects in the CMAQ database that used idle control or idle reduction. Many use the IdleAir system. Volpe can begin to research the projects more.
    • Working Group members expressed concern that many facilities aren't set up to accommodate IdleAir. IdleAir takes up 1.5 normal truck parking spaces, and many truckers don't like to use IdleAir.
    • On the Pennsylvania Turnpike there are IdleAir systems installed that seem well-maintained but drivers don't use them because it's an extra, cumbersome step they have to take when they're already tired.
    • Many drivers prefer to use their Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Battery-powered APUs that are run overnight use about one gallon of fuel. Using diesel-run APUs burn about a gallon an hour.
    • If drivers are only parking for an hour, they will prefer to use their APU, especially if they can't find a parking spot with IdleAir.
    • A simpler, more usable system could be a shorepower system. This would be most efficient if it was targeted to areas where there is fleet-intensive use. However, this leaves out owners of older trucks that do not have the equipment to connect to this type of system.
    • Another application is trailer refrigeration units that drivers can plug their reefers into. Participants have heard of vendors of large grocery fleets having this technology, but they have no place to plug this in other than their own docks.
    • One Working Group member stated that the group should consider checking in with Linda Gaines of the Department of Energy's Argonne National Lab, who did a cost-benefit and utilization study of the dual system and single system electrified parking space technologies.
    • Volkswagen funding provided the States $2.7 billion to spend on diesel emissions reduction projects. Some States see reducing truck emissions as a priority. The money is limited to funding hardware (engines, vehicles, and equipment). However, it could potentially be used in a demonstration project creating truck parking in an environmental justice area, near a port, or near a residential area where truck parking would not be allowed unless the parking area were equipped with facilities to maximize its emissions reduction.

Jordan then transitioned the Working Group to the discussion of Next Steps for the Working Group.

Next Steps

  • There will be two more meetings of the Working Group, in April and June.
  • The goal between now and the next meeting is to gather the information shared today and put it into the products discussed.
    • The Working Group can provide feedback on the draft products at the next Working Group meeting. The products can be finalized between now and June. Then they can be distributed to the larger Coalition in the fall.
  • Working Group members should share resources discussed today and any additional information of interest by March 16th with Jordan Wainer (Volpe).

Jordan asked Tiffany Julien whether she had anything to add before closing the meeting. Tiffany Julien thanked the group for participating, stated that she had nothing to add, and then Jordan ended the meeting.

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