Biden unveils $2 trillion infrastructure plan

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 31, 2021:

Biden unveils $2 trillion infrastructure plan light on highway investment
President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled his estimated $2 trillion infrastructure plan, dubbed the American Jobs Plan. While the plan as a whole boasts a hefty price tag for American taxpayers, less than 10% of the proposed funding would be allocated to improve the nation’s highways and bridges.

According to a fact sheet released by the White House Wednesday morning, the American Jobs Plan would invest $621 billion in transportation infrastructure. However, only $135 billion of that would directly go toward repairing roads and bridges and improving highway safety.

The plan proposes to use $115 billion to modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads and main streets and repair the worst 10,000 small bridges and "fix the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction."

It also proposes to use an additional $20 billion “to improve road safety for all users, including increases to existing safety programs and a new Safe Streets for All program to fund state and local ‘vision zero’ plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Other transportation infrastructure funding would go toward improving public transit; improving passenger and freight rail service; expanding the manufacturing of and infrastructure for electric vehicles; improving ports, waterways and airports; and more.

Other parts of the plan not related to transportation include improving the nation’s drinking water systems, expanding access to high-speed broadband internet and more.

The White House plans to fund the American Jobs Plan with Biden's Made in America Tax Plan, which would increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, discourage offshoring by multinational corporations, eliminate tax preferences for fossil fuels and more.

Reefer carrier expands via acquisition to the West | Leonard’s Express, headquartered in Farmington, New York, reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Holman Transportation Services, Inc., based in Caldwell, Idaho. Holman is a privately held trucking company providing transportation services to the food and grocery, dairy and frozen food product industries. The company employs approximately 189 people with a trucking fleet of about 164 vehicles and services customers in the Western United States with a concentration in the Pacific Northwest. Leonard's CEO Ken Johnson said the acquisition 'will help us add to our existing refrigerated capacity allowing us to better serve our current customer base, and, additionally, it will help us expand our coverage in the Western United States. We find the business models and culture of Holman and Leonard’s are very compatible.'Reefer carrier expands via acquisition to the West | Leonard’s Express, headquartered in Farmington, New York, reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Holman Transportation Services, Inc., based in Caldwell, Idaho. Holman is a privately held trucking company providing transportation services to the food and grocery, dairy and frozen food product industries. The company employs approximately 189 people with a trucking fleet of about 164 vehicles and services customers in the Western United States with a concentration in the Pacific Northwest. Leonard's CEO Ken Johnson said the acquisition "will help us add to our existing refrigerated capacity allowing us to better serve our current customer base, and, additionally, it will help us expand our coverage in the Western United States. We find the business models and culture of Holman and Leonard’s are very compatible."

Nevada-based trucker shut down following two DUI arrests
Julio Perea Ayala, a Nevada-licensed truck driver, has been effectively shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after being arrested by the Nevada Highway Patrol for driving under the influence of alcohol while driving a commercial vehicle on two separate occasions 12 days apart in March.

On March 5, Ayala was stopped for erratic driving. FMCSA said his blood alcohol content measured 0.337 during this stop. Less than two weeks later, on March 17, he was pulled over again, this time with a BAC measuring 0.282.  The legal BAC limit while operating a commercial vehicle is 0.04.

On both occasions, FMCSA said Ayala was also charged with having open containers of alcohol and operating a vehicle with expired registration.

Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order could result in civil penalties of up to $1,928 for each violation.  Knowing and/or willful violations may also result in criminal penalties. 

Ayala cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle until he successfully completes the statutorily required return-to-duty process overseen by a substance abuse professional.

Pilot releases revamped app, rewards program
Pilot Company this week announced the launch of its revamped app and loyalty program, myRewards Plus.

The new rewards program will provide truck drivers with ways to save money and time at their fuel stops.

Available to be used at more than 1,000 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers and One9 Fuel Network locations, the myRewards Plus app brings together the features of the Pilot Flying J app and the company's myRewards card to create an enhanced digital loyalty program that rewards drivers with more when they join the app.

Some benefits and features of myRewards Plus include the ability for drivers to earn up to four points per commercial diesel gallon purchased; savings on food, snacks, beverages and more; and contactless payments, digital receipts and more.

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