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Park My Truck

By on September 1, 2016
parking

Free Mobile App Helps Locate Available Parking

Have you ever encountered difficulty finding a suitable parking space? Have you ever felt unsafe about a parking space you were able to find? Did you ever wish that someone would step up to provide a dynamic, industry-wide registry of available truck parking spaces? If you answered yes to any of these questions, help has arrived.

In May, trucking and travel center leaders announced a collaborative highway safety initiative to help professional drivers find available truck parking. The initiative’s leaders are the NATSO Foundation, NATSO, Inc., the American Trucking Associations and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Following the formal rollout this fall, you’ll be able to use a free mobile app called Park My Truck to locate an available space.

Free Access to Providers

The Truck Parking Leadership Initiative was developed based on feedback from professional drivers and trucking companies who often describe the availability of truck parking as a critical need. Park My Truck enables participating parking providers—whether public or private—to report their parking availabilities for free through this app; it doesn’t require any special technology except Internet access. Through the end of July, more than 263,000 existing overnight truckstop parking spaces had been identified for inclusion in the database. The list of available public parking spaces is in the process of being developed for the rollout.

“Federal and state governments have spent decades and millions of dollars researching truck parking and testing technology-based approaches to counting available spaces, but not one of these efforts has yielded nationwide data about parking availability,” said Lisa Mullings, the president of NATSO and the NATSO Foundation. “We are still many millions of dollars and years away from implementing a fully automated, real-time digital system that can identify available parking spaces nationwide. The problem is drivers need information now. We don’t want to allow our pursuit of a perfect solution to prevent us from implementing a good solution today.”

The groups encouraged all parking providers—including truck stops and travel centers, highway rest areas and others—to participate in this initiative by reporting the number of spaces available in their lots. The only requirements are Internet access and the ability to count available spaces, whether by observation or by electronic means.

“Safe truck parking is a critical issue for the trucking industry,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It is important for our professional truck drivers to have access  to safe parking, so they can get their required off-duty rest. Efforts like this to inform drivers about the availability of parking spaces can only help drivers as they safely deliver our nation’s economy and move us forward. We look forward to working with  truck parking providers—both public and private—to ensure that all drivers have access to this important information.”

Free Access to Drivers

Administered by the NATSO Foundation, Park My Truck will be accessible by all professional drivers, trucking fleets and other industry participants through a Park My Truck app to be released for Android and iPhone smart phones. Drivers without an Android or iPhone will be able to access the app through any HTML5 browser at ParkMyTruckapp.com.

“ATRI’s latest research has revealed that ‘managing critical truck parking’ ranks as one of the industry’s top-5 most pressing concerns,” said ATRI Vice President, Dan Murray. “Through this technology, we will dramatically expand the scope of truck parking information available to drivers in an efficient, easily accessible format. It is gratifying to be part of a collaborative team that is generating real-world parking solutions for truck drivers and motor carriers alike.”

Parking at TA & Petro Locations

TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA® and Petro Stopping Centers® brands, is an established industry leader in truck parking. More than 47,000 spaces are available at 252 locations. Most spaces are located on paved surfaces that have perimeter fencing and excellent lighting. Some of the larger locations near metro areas have nighttime security details that patrol the lots. Lined spaces are usually laid out in a diagonal configuration for easy entry and exit. Plenty of space is provided between parking lanes for easy navigation.

“TravelCenters fully supports the Park My Truck parking availability system being launched by the Truck Parking Leadership Initiative,” said Tom O’Brien, President and CEO.

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