This publication is an executive summary of a research study on public rest areas and private truck stops for commercial drivers. The research team first assessed the current status of public rest area parking for trucks nationwide and developed analytical models to estimate the demand for truck parking spaces. This comprehensive assessment of public rest areas projected a current shortfall of 28,400 truck parking spaces in public rest areas nationwide. An important component of the assessment was the information obtained from the driver survey. More than 90% of commercial drivers sampled perceived that there is a shortage of truck parking facilities, particularly for long-term or overnight parking. For short-term parking, a majority of the sampled drivers expressed a preference for public rest areas. Two-thirds of them indicated a preference for private truck stops for overnight or long-term rest needs. The assessment of supply and demand for long-term truck parking at private truck stops followed a process similar to that for the public rest area study. This assessment determined that about one-third of truck stop operators, based on a weighted sample, plan to expand their parking facilities over the next 3 years. This would increase total projected capacity from 185,000 truck parking spaces to more than 213,000. This suggests that some of the current shortfall at public rest areas might be satisfied in the future by private expansion efforts. However, this additional analysis found no conclusive evidence that private truck stops and public rest areas are direct substitutes for each other. Rather, they are complementary. Projected costs to meet future truck parking demands total between $489 and $629 million. The problem of inadequate truck parking can only be met by creative strategies to help facilitate future rest area spending decisions over the next 10 years. Failure to solve the truck parking shortage could pose significant risks to the traveling public by forcing tired drivers to continue driving, or park on inherently dangerous locations such as ramps and shoulders.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Office of Motor Carriers, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Publication Date: 1996-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 38 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00722664
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-MC-96-0010
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 27 1996 12:00AM