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Availability and Effectiveness of Truck Rest Stops
In the overall mix of freight transportation modes, truck freight stands out as the mode that moves the most freight. When it comes to hauling freight truck drivers need to take specified breaks for rest. In fact, this is specified in federal regulations governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Are there adequate places for truckers to rest and are there enough of them? This is a question posed in the NYMTC Regional Freight Plan.
Goal 2 of the Regional Freight Plan states; “Improve the Physical Infrastructure of the Transportation System for Freight-Related Transport Between Shipping and Receiving Points. It further states, ”There are a limited number of truck rest areas within the NYMTC region and the broader NY/NJ/CT metropolitan area. Since trips through the region can take significant time (for example, on Long Island) and trucks are discouraged from using local roads, there is a need to provide accessible rest areas.”
NYMTC expects freight volume to increase by 47 percent over the next twenty years. Large truck traffic is expected to increase by 51 percent according to NYMTC’s Regional Freight Plan. As the freight volume increases and as the amount of the freight moved by truck increases, more trucks will require a space at a rest area.
Anecdotally, it has been observed that highway rest areas experience spill over by trucks onto the shoulder and within metropolitan areas, trucks can be seen parked overnight on arterials. In addition to the increased volumes that trucks are handling there are federal regulations that mandate a minimum amount of rest time, ten hours of continuous rest for every eleven hours driven. Each of these factors will drive the need for either a larger number of rest stops and/or an expansion of existing rest areas.
In order to get a handle on the actual demand for truck rest stops NYMTC, in conjunction with its neighboring MPOs and state DOTs, is conducting a study, Multi-State Truck Stop Inventory and Assessment, that aims to find answers to the truck rest stop problem. Compounding the issue is that trucking companies are experiencing driver shortages. One reason for the turnover in drivers is that rest stop services can be minimal. Surveys have indicated that drivers look forward to stops that have good food, communication services, and adequate places to park.
The study endeavors to look at the truck stops in the tri-state region as an operating system and to overlay where trucks will be over specified periods of time as they enter and leave the region. The volume of trucks will be forecasted to future years and these volumes will be assigned to the highway system.
The study will provide decision makers with the information they need to determine the need to provide operational or capital improvements.
Scope of Work
The Multi-State Truck Rest Stop Inventory and Assessment Study is now complete and available for downloading. An expected 80 percent increase in freight traffic in the NYMTC region will mean an increase in the demand for rest stops. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of existing truck services (official and informal) in the region, and determines the need to provide either enhanced services at existing stops or to implement recommended regional improvements.
Multi-State Truck Rest Stop Inventory and Assessment Study
For more information, contact Howie Mann of NYMTC, 212.383.2530 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org