An email posted online, reportedly from a corporate manager from TravelCenters of America reportedly sent to select TA truck stops outlines their plan to increase the parking fees drivers are required to pay at select truck stops located in the most “constrained areas of the country.”
In the email, an Operations Category Manager wrote “We continue to take in close to $150k/month in Preferred Parking fees. Each dollar that we take in through this program is from drivers who refuse to buy fuel, goods, or services from us, but are willing to pay for the privilege of using on our lots in the most constrained areas of the country”
The email goes on to read that in light of drivers who are simply paying for parking and not making additional purchases, TA is “raising the gate exit fee to a $25 per day” at each of the Preferred Parking sites. According to the company’s website, there are 9 Preferred Parking sites, all located in metro areas throughout the United States. In addition to the increase in the paid parking price, “lost ticket fees will be $100 for each site.”
Typically a driver would either have to purchase 60 gallons of fuel or spend $20 in the store, restaurant or service area to qualify for free parking in these locations. Otherwise they would have to pay $20 to park for a 24-hour period.
In another email posted online reportedly sent by the same manager went on to say “the only drivers impacted by this are the ones who refuse to meet the rather low purchase requirements, or those that live locally, and are storing their trucks on the lot.”
“I know that there is a population of drivers that feel entitled to free parking, everywhere, all the time, but that model is neither sustainable, nor realistic,” the letter reads.
Every truckstop has the ability to set their own fees and controls whether to charge, or not charge for parking. Drivers also have the ability and right to make the decision to pay to park at a location, or to look for a free alternative.
With that said, the timing of this letter, reportedly sent by a “manager” within the very same corporation involved in the shooting of a truck driver by a security guard at an Oklahoma City, OK truck stop last month over a paid parking spot , shows a sort of disconnect to many readers online.
“In limited constricted areas, they make the safest parking “Paid”. Rookies can not afford that, so just for safety and easy access to a rest room or shower you have to walk miles,” said one online user commented. “He is speaking of those who do not want to pay for parking as if they are enemies to the business.”
“That 20% increase in tax will increase the monthly take to $180k. No one is going to stop using them because face it. They really have no choice… Where are you going to park,” asked another.
Many truck-stops are viewing paid parking as a commodity, and driver’s….well don’t. With the rising costs associated with operating a trucking company continuing to rise, paid parking will continue to be an issue.