(COLUMBUS) – A new system being launched along three major Ohio highways will make it much easier for truck drivers to find safe parking.
The Truck Parking Information Management System provides real-time information about available parking spaces at nine Ohio rest areas.
Parking information is displayed on digital signs along the highway as well as on OHGO.com and the OHGO app.
A 2013 study found that 83 percent of drivers routinely took longer than 30 minutes to find parking. By using this system, drivers can monitor parking availability and make better-informed parking decisions as they near the limit of the their federally mandated hours of service.
“Truck drivers are vital to our economy. One of the biggest challenges they face is finding a safe place to park and rest,” said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray. “This system will help truck drivers plan ahead and allow them to stop wasting precious driving minutes searching for parking.”
The multi-state system, which should be fully operational next month, was paid for with a $25 million federal transportation grant. It includes Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Ohio received the largest share of the grant, $5.3 million. The state contributed another $787,000, bringing the total investment to $6.1 million.
This system is expected to generate more than $403 million in benefits through the life of the project. Better parking information also means fewer non-routine maintenance repairs on highway shoulders and ramps due to illegal parking.
It is estimated that the search for safe, convenient parking annually costs the country $4.4 billion and increases CO2 emissions by 3.3 million tons.