Biden’s $2T Infrastructure Plan Does NOT Include Money For Truck Parking, Trucking Groups Sound Off
Washington D.C. – Trucking groups are expressing dismay the Biden Administration’s massive infrastructure spending plan fails to include funding specifically for truck parking.
President Joe Biden rolled out his unprecedented $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending initiative — known as the American Jobs Plan (AJP) — late last month.
It immediately drew widespread criticism because less than 25% of the funding is actually dedicated to projects Americans traditionally consider infrastructure such as highways, bridges, ports, and railways.
After reviewing the AJP, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) expressed “concern” because it leaves out funding to address problems within the trucking community like the shortage of truck parking capacity.
“We are not seeing a lot in the infrastructure bill to directly help truckers,” James Lamb, SBTC president, told Transportation Nation Network (TNN). “We want money for safe parking initiatives and job creation, especially for small trucking businesses, and we support money going to rebuild roads and bridges.”
Instead, the AJP proposes hundreds of billions of dollars of spending on items such as: home and child care industry tax credits for hiring workers and building new facilities, workforce development programs, low and middle income housing projects, retrofitting and building new schools and community colleges, artificial intelligence research, scientific research grants to Historically Black College and Universities, and low-cost loan programs for “disadvantaged communities across the country.”
Additionally, the proposal also calls for a host of green energy initiatives such as: $300 billion for America’s electric grid, $35 billion for investments in “clean energy technology” and “climate research,” $213 billion to “produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings,” and $174 billion in spending to accelerate consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) including building 500,000 EV charging stations across the nation.
This week, the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) urged the Biden Administration to include into the AJP newly re-introduced legislation which would set aside more than $750 million over a five year period for the specific purpose of adding truck parking capacity to the U.S. federal-aid highway system.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act — otherwise known as H.R. 2187 — enjoys broad support among trucking industry associations.
“It is far past time that the federal government make a significant investment in addressing the truck parking shortage, and the AJP is one of the best opportunities we have seen to take meaningful action,” Todd Spencer, OOIDA CEO, wrote in a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Dedicating funding for truck parking would directly help our nation’s truck drivers, and the inclusion of this proposal would demonstrate President Biden’s support for hard-working Americans.”
Other leading trucking groups such as the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, and NATSO (the largest trade association representing the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas) have also been critical of the AJP.
These groups called out the Biden Administration’s proposal for not creating a “fully sustainable funding mechanism to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent” and imposing a substantial tax hike on businesses arguing it will be “counterproductive” and “hinder the economic recovery” from the pandemic.
U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently stated she expected action on the final version of the bill by July 4, 2021.
TransportationNation.com will continue to track this issue closely.