Money to expand the amount of commercial truck parking could be inserted into the House infrastructure package, with dedicated funding potentially coming from the Highway Trust Fund, House Transportation Chair Peter DeFazio said Feb. 10 during the House Transportation and Infrastructure mark up to its $96billion title of a Covid relief package.
Rep. DeFazio made the comments after Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) offered an amendment on truck parking that he later withdrew.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Small Business committees late Feb. 10 advanced their components of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal.
The Transportation panel voted 39-25 in favor of more than $40 billion in aid. The measures would provide $30 billion for transit, $8 billion for U.S. airports, $3 billion for aviation manufacturing jobs and $1.5 billion for Amtrak.
Rep. Bost’s amendment text mirrored the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act that Rep. Bost introduced last year and which had been accepted as an amendment to H.R. 2, the MovingForward Act.
The measure would set aside at least $125 million in fiscal 2021 for states, public agencies and local governments to construct commercial parking on the Federal Highway System. The amendment requested $140 million in 2022, $150 million in 2023, $165 million in 2024 and $175 million in 2025.
The measure does not call for commercializing rest areas as a means of increasing truck parking capacity. It specifies, however, that states could utilize funds awarded under the program to put in commercial truck parking adjacent to private commercial truckstops or travel plazas.
NATSO has long maintained that the best way to address any truck parking capacity concerns is for motor carriers to negotiate truck parking in their contractual relationships with truckstops and travel plazas.
Because the private sector provides 90 percent of the nation’s commercial truck parking capacity, NATSO also has long advocated for the federal and state Departments of Transportation to remove barriers to private sector investment in truck parking capacity.
NATSO also encourages the exploration of the use of tax incentives or land acquisition assistance for the private sector to build new parking capacity.
Eligible entities must agree not to charge for parking constructed with the grant money.
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