Highway & Transportation

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NATSO Responds to PennDOT Request for Information on Truck Parking

December 14, 2018

NATSO Responds to PennDOT Request for Information on Truck Parking

NATSO on Dec. 12 recommended that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) explore ways to lower the private sector’s costs in creating or expanding truck parking capacity while refraining from undercutting such efforts by subjecting private truck parking providers to additional competitive or regulatory obstacles.

Rep. DeFazio to Propose VMT Pilot Program

December 5, 2018

Rep. DeFazio to Propose VMT Pilot Program

Incoming House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said Dec. 5 that he plans to propose a national vehicle miles traveled (VMT) pilot program.

FMCSA Publishes ELD Guide for Truck Drivers

December 5, 2018

FMCSA Publishes ELD Guide for Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published a guide for drivers using electronic logging devices (ELDs) to help motor carriers adopt the devices.

Indiana Governor Decides Against Tolls

December 3, 2018

Indiana Governor Decides Against Tolls

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Nov. 30 abandoned plans to add tolls to Indiana’s existing interstates, saying that the state no longer needed tolling revenues because it had committed enough money for transportation infrastructure enhancements.

Rep. Graves Elected Ranking Member on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

November 30, 2018

Rep. Graves Elected Ranking Member on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

The House Republican conference on Nov. 30 unanimously voted to elect Rep. Sam Graves to be ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th Congress. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) will serve as Chairman.

Senate EPW Committee Looks at Highways, Talks Fuel Tax and Public-Private Partnerships

November 29, 2018

Senate EPW Committee Looks at Highways, Talks Fuel Tax and Public-Private Partnerships

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee convened a hearing on November 28 to discuss surface transportation issues. Entitled, “Addressing America’s Surface Transportation Infrastructure Needs,” the hearing largely focused on funding the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), with witnesses telling lawmakers that increasing the federal fuel tax would be the most efficient way to shore up the HTF in the short-term.

As Lawmakers Eye Infrastructure, Funding Remains a Key Challenge

November 15, 2018

As Lawmakers Eye Infrastructure, Funding Remains a Key Challenge

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Nov. 14 that he hopes the next Congress can pass an infrastructure package, but that the same challenges in securing funding will dog any proposals, Politico reported.

NATSO ANALYSIS: A Deep Dive Into The 2018 Midterm Election Results

November 9, 2018

NATSO ANALYSIS: A Deep Dive Into The 2018 Midterm Election Results

The 2018 Midterm elections played out largely as expected: Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, while Republicans retained their Senate majority by picking up at least two Democrat-held seats. Democrats also managed to pick up at least four governorships and several state legislatures. The Midterms will usher in a new chapter of the Trump Administration and will have wide-ranging consequences for NATSO’s policy priorities.

U.S. Election Midterm Results: Maps and Charts

November 8, 2018

U.S. Election Midterm Results: Maps and Charts

On election night, President Donald Trump's Republican Party retained control of the Senate while the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. The Democrats gained more than the 23 seats they needed to take control of the House, marking the first time the party has held the majority in the lower house of Congress for eight years. Meanwhile, Republicans kept control of the Senate and will increase their majority. The following maps illustrate the election results in the House, Senate and state Governor races. NATSO will run a separate, post-election analysis in the coming days outlining what the election results mean for NATSO’s policy priorities.

Congressman DeFazio Plans to Deliver Major Infrastructure Package

November 7, 2018

Congressman DeFazio Plans to Deliver Major Infrastructure Package

Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who is set to become Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th Congress, said Nov. 6 that a major infrastructure package funded by real dollars would be his first order of business in January. Current surface transportation law is set to expire in 2020 and infrastructure is largely viewed as one issue where bipartisan agreement will be possible next year. Of importance to truckstops and travel plazas, Rep. DeFazio spoke about the shortcomings of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan put forth by the Administration in early 2018, saying it was full of “pretend stuff” such as privatization and asset recycling, which could very easily lead to tolling and rest area commercialization.

President Signs Into Law Bill That Contains Hair Testing Reporting Requirements

October 25, 2018

President Signs Into Law Bill That Contains Hair Testing Reporting Requirements

President Trump on Oct. 24 signed into law comprehensive legislation aimed at combating the nation’s opioid crisis. Of importance to truckstops that operate commercial vehicles, the bill, which cleared the Congress with near-unanimous approval, contains provisions on hair testing for drivers.

Anti-Tolling Coalition Opposes Truck Only Tolls on I-81 at Public Hearing

October 23, 2018

Anti-Tolling Coalition Opposes Truck Only Tolls on I-81 at Public Hearing

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) urged Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine to refrain from charging tolls on commercial trucks to pay for $2 billion of improvements along Interstate-81.

Lawmaker Pushes for New Infrastructure Panel

October 18, 2018

Lawmaker Pushes for New Infrastructure Panel

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is pushing to create an infrastructure subcommittee within the House Ways and Means Committee if Democrats take back the House in an effort to create a new forum for discussing ways to bolster infrastructure investment, Politico reports.

NATSO Urges FMCSA to Consider Effects of Regulatory Changes on Truck Parking Utilization

October 12, 2018

NATSO Urges FMCSA to Consider Effects of Regulatory Changes on Truck Parking Utilization

NATSO on Oct. 10 urged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to evaluate and consider any effect that proposed changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations would have on professional truck drivers’ ability to find safe and legal parking when they need it. NATSO filed the comments in response to FMCSA’s August notice regarding revisions to four specific areas of the federal rule that governs truck drivers' sleep and rest.

Anti-Tolling Coalition Criticizes Promotion of Failed Tolling Program

October 6, 2018

Anti-Tolling Coalition Criticizes Promotion of Failed Tolling Program

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) criticized the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) over the issuance of its recent notice soliciting participation in the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP). The ISRRPP is one of the few ways the federal government allows for tolls to be placed on existing interstates. The notice invites state Departments of Transportation to submit applications for three potential slots on a rolling basis until further notice, based on a directive from Congress.

FHWA Calls for Next Round of Alternative Fuel Corridor Nominations

October 6, 2018

FHWA Calls for Next Round of Alternative Fuel Corridor Nominations

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking nominations for the next phase of its multi-year plan to establish alternative fuel corridors for alternative fueling stations as mandated under the December 2015 highway bill. Any state or local agency is allowed to nominate a corridor for an alternative fuel corridor designation, and NATSO members can work with state and local agencies to ensure that their alternative fuel locations are incorporated into the nomination process.

FHWA Seeks Applicants for Failed Tolling Pilot Program

October 4, 2018

FHWA Seeks Applicants for Failed Tolling Pilot Program

The Federal Highway Administration on Oct. 2 issued a notice soliciting State Department of Transportation participation in the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP), which would permit three states to collect tolls on existing Interstate highways for the purposes of reconstructing on rehabilitating Interstate Highway corridors.

House Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill Without Trucking Provision

September 27, 2018

House Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill Without Trucking Provision

The House on Sept. 26 voted 398 to 23 in favor of a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization that is expected to be approved by the Senate and could mark one of the last major pieces of legislation to be enacted before the midterm elections.

PHMSA Determines Federal Law Preempts California Break Requirements

September 25, 2018

PHMSA Determines Federal Law Preempts California Break Requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) determined that federal law preempts California’s meal and rest break requirements for all motor vehicle operators that transport hazardous materials, granting a request from the National Tank Truck Carriers Association (NTTC).

Indiana Toll Road Rates Rising for Truck Drivers to Fund Governor’s $1 Billion Infrastructure Plan

September 11, 2018

Indiana Toll Road Rates Rising for Truck Drivers to Fund Governor’s $1 Billion Infrastructure Plan

Truck drivers who use the Indiana Toll Road could see toll rates rise by a whopping 35 percent if the Indiana Finance Authority approves a contract renegotiation with the toll road’s private operator at its Sept. 20 meeting. The rate increase was announced last week by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb as part of his Next Level Connections infrastructure plan to raise $1 billion for trails, broadband, roads and flights.

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