Rest Area Commercialization

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T&I Committee Chairman: Infrastructure Bill “Closer to Summer”

February 16, 2018

T&I Committee Chairman: Infrastructure Bill “Closer to Summer”

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said Feb. 15 that an infrastructure bill could be ready “closer to summer” now that the Trump Administration has unveiled its infrastructure proposal.

Trump Administration Rolls Out Infrastructure Plan

February 12, 2018

Trump Administration Rolls Out Infrastructure Plan

The Trump Administration on Feb. 12 officially rolled out its proposal for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, which contains several policy provisions that would crush the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

White House Says “Slight Delay” in Infrastructure Plan

February 1, 2018

White House Says “Slight Delay” in Infrastructure Plan

The White House said that the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal would again be delayed, citing the recent government shutdown. The announcement came just one day after the President said that his plan would arrive “in a week or two, right after the State of the Union Address.”

President Calls on Congress to Produce $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill in State of the Union

January 31, 2018

President Calls on Congress to Produce $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill in State of the Union

President Donald Trump called on Congress to produce a bipartisan $1.5 trillion bill for new infrastructure investment during his first State of the Union address last night, saying it would provide a safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure that the U.S. economy needs.

Trump Administration's Infrastructure Plan Leaked

January 23, 2018

Trump Administration's Infrastructure Plan Leaked

A draft document leaked to press on Jan. 22 and widely speculated to be the funding principles for the Trump Administration’s long-awaited infrastructure plan called for liberalizing tolling policy and allowing states to commercialize interstate rest areas among its proposals for funding infrastructure, both of which would dramatically undercut businesses that operate at the Interstate exits.

NATSO, Trade Groups Urge Arizona Lawmakers to Oppose Commercial Rest Areas

December 6, 2017

NATSO, Trade Groups Urge Arizona Lawmakers to Oppose Commercial Rest Areas

A coalition of trade associations representing a broad cross-section of highway-based businesses and local communities urged Arizona's federal lawmakers to oppose efforts to commercialize Interstate rest areas, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s recent petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to operate commercial rest areas under a pilot program.

Commercializing Arizona Rest Areas Would Harm Business, Communities, Bowlin Travel Centers Says

November 27, 2017

Commercializing Arizona Rest Areas Would Harm Business, Communities, Bowlin Travel Centers Says

Commercializing rest areas in Arizona would bring more harm than good to the state’s local businesses and communities, according to Michael Bowlin, President of Bowlin Travel Centers. Responding to an editorial in the Sierra Vista Herald, Bowlin said that his business and others operating at the interstate exits would suffer a dramatic drop in sales and subsequently a corresponding drop in employees and tax receipts if the state is allowed to commercialize rest areas directly on the Interstate Highway System.

NATSO Urges DOT to Reject Arizona Request to Commercialize Rest Areas

November 6, 2017

NATSO Urges DOT to Reject Arizona Request to Commercialize Rest Areas

Arizona Gov. Douglas Ducey petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to operate commercial rest areas under a pilot program, a move that threatens the truckstop and travel plaza industry as well as other businesses operating near Interstate exits.

House T&I Committee Chairman Shuster Supports Private Financing of Infrastructure at Hearing

October 12, 2017

House T&I Committee Chairman Shuster Supports Private Financing of Infrastructure at Hearing

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) strongly advocated for private financing as a means of funding infrastructure projects during a Subcommittee hearing Oct. 11, demonstrating a willingness to support policies that would lead to the commercialization of Interstate rest areas and threaten the truckstop and travel plaza industry. During a House Highways and Transit Subcommittee hearing to explore solutions for boosting infrastructure investment and stabilizing the Highway Trust Fund, Rep. Shuster spoke positively about Connecticut's decision to allow a private company to lease its on-highway travel plazas to finance upgrades to the facilities as well as Australia’s asset recycling program, which funds new infrastructure and revitalizes existing infrastructure through the sale or lease of public assets.

FHWA Calls for Alternative Fuel Corridor Nominations

September 25, 2017

FHWA Calls for Alternative Fuel Corridor Nominations

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking nominations for the second phase of its multi-year plan to establish alternative fuel corridors for alternative fueling stations as mandated under the December 2015 highway bill.

NATSO Details Ill Effects of Commercial Rest Areas for Independent Journal Review

August 9, 2017

NATSO Details Ill Effects of Commercial Rest Areas for Independent Journal Review

Businesses have invested heavily in real estate off interstate exits and allowing states to flip highway policy on its head and permit commercial rest areas after more than 50 years of established rules would devastate, truckstops, fuel retailers, convenience stores, hotel and blind vendors, NATSO told the Independent Journal Review in a recent interview.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Urges FHWA to Address New York State’s Commercial Rest Areas

August 8, 2017

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Urges FHWA to Address New York State’s Commercial Rest Areas

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) on Aug. 8 urged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to hold New York state accountable for its violation of the federal law prohibiting commercial rest areas.

NATSO Files Comments with DOT, Urges Agency to Maintain Existing Prohibition on Commercial Rest Areas

July 25, 2017

NATSO Files Comments with DOT, Urges Agency to Maintain Existing Prohibition on Commercial Rest Areas

Expanding commercial services at rest areas, including liberalizing the definition of "vending machine," threatens consumers, small business and localities by undercutting the highway-based businesses that currently operate near the interstate exit interchanges, NATSO said in comments filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT) July 24.

FHWA Blocks Commercialization of Signs on the Public Right of Way

July 7, 2017

FHWA Blocks Commercialization of Signs on the Public Right of Way

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently rejected a request from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to display commercial logos on electronic message signs, confirming an earlier ruling by the agency not to allow advertising on highway signs.

Business and Community Leaders Urge Congress to Oppose Commercial Rest Areas

June 14, 2017

Business and Community Leaders Urge Congress to Oppose Commercial Rest Areas

NATSO led a diverse coalition including restaurants, fuel retailers, city governments, trucking firms and blind entrepreneurs in urging key lawmakers to oppose efforts to commercialize Interstate rest areas as Congress considers infrastructure legislation.

Commercial Rest Areas Harm Business and Halt Business Investment

April 24, 2017

Commercial Rest Areas Harm Business and Halt Business Investment

Permitting the government to compete with private, off-highway businesses would result in higher costs for consumers, lost revenues for towns and localities nationwide, shuttered small businesses and lost jobs, a top truckstop official said in a recent letter published in the Washington Examiner.

NATSO Urges House Transportation Committee to Oppose Legislation to Commercialize Rest Areas

April 7, 2017

NATSO Urges House Transportation Committee to Oppose Legislation to Commercialize Rest Areas

NATSO led a group of trade associations representing hundreds of thousands of small businesses in urging members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to oppose H.R. 1990, recently introduced by Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), that would permit commercial services such as convenience stores and restaurants at Interstate rest areas. NATSO was joined in signing the letter by the National Federation of the Blind, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Council of Chain Restaurants, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.

NATSO Discusses Rest Area Commercialization, Truck Parking With DOT

December 18, 2016

NATSO Discusses Rest Area Commercialization, Truck Parking With DOT

NATSO met with various Department of Transportation officials last week to discuss a number of issues concerning the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

Tell DOT Expanding Commercial Services at Rest Areas Hurts Business

December 13, 2016

Tell DOT Expanding Commercial Services at Rest Areas Hurts Business

As NATSO has previously reported, the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is soliciting public input regarding expanding the types of goods and services that may be offered at highway rest areas located on the Interstate right-of-way. This is a potentially critical development for the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

NATSO Urges FHWA to Force New York State to Comply With Rest Area Commercialization Prohibition

November 22, 2016

NATSO Urges FHWA to Force New York State to Comply With Rest Area Commercialization Prohibition

NATSO has learned that the state of New York is violating the federal ban on commercializing interstate rest areas by selling food and beverages at newly-constructed welcome centers and rest areas along the Interstate Highway System right-of-way.

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