Majority of commercial truck drivers would use paid parking reservations

By Dan Handel

A recent survey by the American Transportation Research Institute found that over half of commercial truck drivers are willing to pay to reserve a parking space at a rest stop. This survey was part of ATRI’s technical memo Understanding Truck Driver Perspectives on Parking Reservation Systems, released on September 21 as part of their ongoing ‘Managing Critical Truck Parking’ research project.

Over the past twenty years, numerous studies on commercial truck parking have concluded that parking spaces for drivers to rest are inadequately located and supplied; fatigue-related crashes, difficulty finding safe and legal parking, and overcrowding at existing parking facilities are cited as consequences. Recently, parking reservation systems, where drivers reserve parking spaces in advance, have gained traction as a potential solution. In response, ATRI created a survey for drivers to gain their perspective on the usefulness of these reservation systems. Below are some highlighted results:

  • 90.4 percent of respondents have average distances of more than 100 miles per trip, 62 percent were at more than 500 miles per trip
  • 51.8 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay for a reserved parking space
  • 46.8 percent of respondents believe the carrier should pay reservation fees
  • 48.8 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to reserve a parking space in a major metropolitan region, 27.7 percent said they would likely reserve a space anywhere

This is the first of six technical memos to be released for this project, with a synthesis expected in mid-2016. Subjects of the upcoming technical memos will include FHWA’s Jason’s Law report, a look into truck GPS data, a cost/benefit analysis of parking reservation systems, an assessment of impacts caused by other vehicles, and case studies of drivers’ experiences.

Dan Handel is a Graduate Assistant at SSTI.