NYC proposes fee for trucks to enter | Alert: High wind warnings

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023:

New York proposes congestion pricing for entering lower Manhattan

If your trucking travels take you to or through the busiest part of New York City's business district, be prepared to pay an additional fee if a plan to reduce traffic congestion and raise money for mass transit is approved next year.

Under the congestion pricing plan, big trucks will be charged $36 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street. Small trucks will be charged $24 under the plan, while automobile drivers will pay $15.

All vehicles will be charged electronically under the program proposed by the Traffic Mobility Review Board, a New York state body charged with advising the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on tolls included in what would be the first such plan in the U.S., the city said.

There are discounts included in the proposal for vehicles entering lower Manhattan between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., reducing the fees by 75%.

The MTA is expected to vote on the proposed plan following a series of public hearings in February. The congestion pricing plan is projected to raise as much as $1 billion to improve the city's mass transit system.

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) and Mike Lawler (R-New York) voiced their opposition to the fee proposal. 

"Trucks depending on their size will have to pay up to $36 per-day," Gottheimer said in prepared remarks. "That means delivery trucks bringing goods and supplies to small businesses will be whacked. That cost will be passed down to the small business owners and their customers."

[Related: NYC cracking down on overweight trucks with automated weigh-in-motion enforcement]

TuSimple begins winding down U.S. operations

Autonomous truck developer TuSimple Holdings has taken another step toward exiting the U.S. market.

TuSimple announced in June that it was exploring the possible sale of its U.S. business and a restructuring of the company.

On Nov. 30, the company’s Board of Directors authorized an additional restructuring plan, which includes a reduction in the company’s U.S. workforce by approximately 150 employees, or 75% and 19% of its U.S. and global workforces, respectively, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Following the workforce reduction, TuSimple is expected to have approximately 700 global full-time employees. The company anticipates that the remaining U.S. workforce will focus on winding down the company’s U.S. operations, including through sales of U.S. assets, and assisting with the company’s strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region.

TuSimple added that it estimates that it will incur one-tiem charges of approximately $7-8 million in connection with the restructuring plan, consisting primarily of cash expenditures for employee transition, notice period and severance payments, employee benefits, and related costs.

The majority of the restructuring charges per the plan will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2023, and the full execution of the restructuring plan will be substantially completed by the end of the fiscal year 2024.

Wyoming issues high wind alerts

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has issued a notice stating is is expecting to close a number of highways Thursday due to high winds.

WYDOT's Commercial Vehicle Operator Portal said 55+ mph crosswinds are expected, causing an "extreme blow-over risk" and the expected closure to enclosed trailers under 40,000 pounds gross vehicle weight for the following routes and times:

  • I-80 Cheyenne to Laramie: Expect crosswinds of 65+ mph, Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday
  • I-80 Laramie to Rawlins: Expect crosswinds of 60+ mph, Thursday 4 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • I-80 Rawlins to Rock Springs: Expect crosswinds of 55+ mph, Thursday 1-6 p.m.
  • I-25 CO Stateline to Cheyenne: Expect crosswinds of 55+ mph, Thursday 3-9 p.m.
  • I-25 Cheyenne to Wheatland: Expect crosswinds of 65+ mph, Thursday 11 a.m. to Friday 2 a.m.
  • I-25 Wheatland to Douglas: Expect crosswinds of 55+ mph, Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • I-25 Douglas to Casper: Expect crosswinds of 55+ mph, Thursday noon to 5 p.m.
  • WY258 Outer Drive: Expect crosswinds of 55+ mph, Thursday 3 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • WY28 South Pass: Expect crosswinds of 60+ mph, Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

New TA locations open in North Dakota

Drivers hauling through North Dakota have two new fueling and parking options with the opening of TA Express locations in Williston and Grand Forks.

The Williston location is located at U.S. Highway 2, and the Grand Forks stop is located off I-29 at exit 141.

Amenities at the TA Express in Willison include 80 truck parking spaces, seven diesel lanes, five showers, Cinnabon and Subway restaurants opening soon and more.

TA Express Grand Forks amenities include 70 truck parking spaces, Sbarro and Charley Cheesesteaks restaurants opening soon, eight diesel lanes, eight showers and more.

The openings increase the total number of travel centers in the TA network to 296.

Sheetz opens two new locations with truck parking, fueling

Mid-Atlantic restaurant and convenience chain Sheetz in recent weeks opened two new stores offering truck diesel fueling lanes in North Carolina and Virginia.

The Disputanta, Virginia, location offers five high-flow diesel lanes and DEF, along with 25 free truck parking spaces available for overnight parking. The location can be easily accessed by truck drivers from I-295 Exit 38.

Another new location in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, includes six lanes offering diesel and DEF for trucks and 50 free truck parking spaces. This new location, which is Sheetz’s 40th store to offer truck diesel fuel lanes, is located along I-77 at exit 100.