OOIDA, ATA ask Buttigieg to help end truck parking crisis

February 18, 2022

Mark Schremmer


The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations are urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to take steps toward ending the truck parking crisis.

The two trucking groups wrote to Buttigieg on Friday, Feb. 18, explaining the severity of the problem and asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to make the issue a priority.

“We ask that you educate state and local partners about this eligibility and prioritize funding for grants that would increase truck parking capacity,” OOIDA and ATA wrote. “In addition to this assistance for drivers and the supply chain, we ask that you support the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, HR2187, legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., that would establish a competitive discretionary grant program and dedicate $755 million over five years to fund truck parking projects across the country.”

The truck parking crisis across the nation has been well documented. The 2019 Jason’s Law Report found that 98% of drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking. According to OOIDA and ATA, there is only one truck parking space for every 11 truckers nationwide.

“The lack of available parking has dire safety implications for truck drivers, as well as the motoring public,” the letter stated.

“When drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they are stuck in a no-win situation, forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or violate federal hours-of-service regulations by continuing to search for safer, legal alternatives.”

Despite the growing problem, lawmakers failed to dedicate any money toward truck parking in the recently passed infrastructure bill.

OOIDA lobbied lawmakers throughout the bill process to include an investment in parking for commercial vehicles. The original House bill did include $1 billion for parking, but that bill died in the Senate. The bipartisan Senate bill, which ultimately became law, excluded truck parking.

Following that omission, OOIDA sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in November, asking him to use $1 billion in discretionary funding for truck parking.

“Truck drivers consistently rank truck parking availability as a top industry concern in annual driver surveys, yet little has been done to address this challenge,” OOIDA and ATA wrote. “It is difficult to conceptualize a workplace without reliable access to restrooms, food and well-lit facilities, but this is the unfortunate reality for truck drivers in America.

“How can the trucking industry recruit and retain a highly qualified driver workforce when their workplace – America’s roads and bridges – fails to meet drivers’ most basic needs?”

OOIDA and ATA told Buttigieg that creating parking for tractor-trailers would benefit truckers, the supply chain and average Americans.

“If the U.S. DOT prioritizes the expansion of truck parking capacity and makes significant progress toward that effort, drivers will be safer and healthier,” the letter stated. “Fleets will be more productive. The trucking workforce will be more resilient, and trucks will reduce their fuel needs and emit fewer emissions into the environment. All of these benefits would be passed on to the average American in the form of lower prices, greater availability of goods and a cleaner planet. We stand ready to assist in any way we can.” LL