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NATSO Study Shows More Problems with Commercialized Rest Areas


Last week, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) released the findings of a report stating that there are 69 percent more commercial truck parking spaces per mile along Interstate highways where the private sector runs businesses as opposed to government-run commercialized rest areas. The report titled, Rest Area Commercialization and Truck Parking Capacity 2018, provides updated findings of a 2010 report comparing the relationship between government-run commercialized rest areas, which are located along the Interstate right-of-way, and total truck parking capacity.

PMAA is a member of the Rest Area Commercialization Coalition that has been meeting with lawmakers to oppose the commercialization of rest areas. Commercializing rest areas could jeopardize private businesses that have operated under the current law for the past 50 years at established locations at highway exits. Due to their convenient locations for motorists, state-owned commercial rest areas have established virtual monopolies on the sale of services to highway travelers. The ban on the commercialization of rest areas has resulted in a strong, competitive economic environment with over 60,000 businesses developing along U.S. interstate highways. Prohibiting publicly-run rest areas from competing with private sector businesses has been an undeniable success, resulting in industries that provide valuable services such as gas stations, travel plazas, truck stops, restaurants, and hotels.

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