Friday, July 28, 2017

OffPeak Program Successful

By Karen Robes Meeks

Over 40-million weekday truck trips have been diverted off Los Angeles area roads since the OffPeak program started 12 years ago this week, removing hundreds of tons of truck-spewing air pollution, according to PierPass Inc.

The program, which creates weeknight and Saturday delivery shifts to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, removes more than 12,600 additional truck trips that would otherwise congest the roads between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week.

“In southern California, heavy-duty trucks are the single largest source of both the pollutants that cause smog and exposure to toxic diesel particulates,” said Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “By reducing the amount of time that trucks spend trapped in terminal queues or traffic jams, OffPeak has made a big contribution to addressing our region’s air pollution problem.”

OffPeak also offers financial incentives for curbing weekday daytime truck trips and funding for night and Saturday shifts.

“Efficient goods movement enables a crucial jobs engine for Southern California’s economy to continue thriving,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, who serves as chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. “The PierPass OffPeak program seeks to maximize the efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure and demonstrates the potential for private-sector innovation to tackle public policy problems. I encourage stakeholders to continue working together to strengthen the program to ensure goods can move as efficiently and safely as possible.”

The OffPeak program was established in the early 2000s after cargo volume surges led to increased traffic congestion, and air pollution and public outcry for solutions.

“Over the last 12 years, OffPeak had diverted more than 40 million trucks off our roads and freeways during the busiest times of the day,” said David Pettit, Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “By reducing truck congestion at the marine container terminals and on the Harbor and Long Beach Freeway, the program has helped reduce pollution and increase mobility for the communities in and around the ports.”