Looks like Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had finally set eyes on the truck parking “crisis.” Yes, I said “crisis.” Every evening on the sides of ramps and shoulders you see what we in the industry call “sitting ducks” – trucks parked where they are in harm’s way. The USA is WAY short on suitable parking spaces for trucks, which often have to share RV, bus, and car spaces at the rest areas. And at truck stops, you see drivers making their own spots, even pulling out cans of DOT yellow spray paint to make it look official.
Our tax dollars at work, we hope…
To quote FreightWave’s own John Gallagher, Senior Editor and Chief Washington Correspondent, “With the trucking parking issue relatively high on DOT’s radar, expect to see other infrastructure funding programs roll out, in the form of either competitive grants or state program funds, that the administration will allow to qualify for projects aimed at expanding truck parking capacity.” The Biden administration wants to use monies from the Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), a fund built into the Infrastructure Bill passed last year to pay for all of this. Federal Highway Administration guidance emphasized “that CRP funds can be used for a project on an eligible facility, such as a truck stop, that reduces transportation emissions.” Hmm, who does that remind me of???
Oh, haven’t we seen this idea before?
Ah, yes. Idleair, Idleaire, whatever they want to call themselves. Remember those big gantries with the yellow plastic ducts. Yeah those guys. The company received $3 million from Bledsoe Capital and took up all that space with their head-first parking design. With that subpar broadband internet and Sunday football for free being the main selling points. To quote @supertrucker, “biggest waste of money ever.” Sounds just like big government to throw taxpayer money at something like “IdleAir 2: Electric Boogaloo.” But this time, instead of big ugly gantries, it looks like it is going to be gas pump lookalike superchargers. And we all know how many of those are going to be demolished the first night!!!