When the five-year, $305 billion highway bill passed late last year, it didn’t solve all of the problems facing our industry.
Recently, an opinion piece by Dave Beaudry, NationaLease’s Director of Logistics Engineering and Consulting, appeared in Transport Topics. The piece, “Find Ways to Make Better Use of US Highways,” discussed the real problem the transportation industry faces that wasn’t “fixed” by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FACT) Act; the mix of trucks and cars using the same lanes on the nation’s highways.
As Dave notes, “when new highways are being built, the motoring public’s agenda seems to take precedence over transportation industry issues.” He makes the point that on the New Jersey Turnpike, one of the heaviest travelled highways in the country, cars have ‘cars only’ lane, but truck lanes aren’t ‘trucks or commercial vehicles only.’
When these roads and highways approach major metropolitan areas, the congestion increases, which impacts on-time deliveries; and that, ultimately, affects a company’s profitability and bottom line. Instead, Dave offers some options that the industry and governments should consider. These include true ‘truck only’ lanes that fleet operators could pay a fee or toll to use.
Dave also addresses the heavy costs that can come with adding lanes, whether the effort is designed for cars or trucks; so another option he offers is the concept of reversible lanes as they use on I-595 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
What is abundantly clear from the opinion piece is that, if the industry is to increase in productivity and profitability, we will need to find better ways to reduce congestion, reduce fuel consumption, and get to our destinations faster on our already crowded highways.
Read the full article.