this month, Caltrans—California’s Department of Transportation (DOT)—reached out
to freight operators asking them to participate in an official survey. Aimed at
collecting data on physical and operational characteristics of commercial
vehicles in the state, the Caltrans Truck Survey is intended to help improve
freight movement in California.
hopes to hear from 14,000 drivers, both online and by phone. Approximately 5% of
those taking the survey will use on-board global positioning system devices (GPS)
in the trucks to collect data on trip distance, speed, duration and fuel usage.
The devices will be sent to participants and returned after one week of data
data is vital for identifying projects, strategies and initiatives that can
improve the flow of trucks across the state. And hopefully, the’ll consider
highway safety too—here’s why:
survey results are expected to yield key insights on the types of trucks
operating on California roadways, the types of commodities they’re carrying and
their travel patterns. The data will provide critical information for
California’s Statewide Freight Forecasting and its Statewide Travel Demand
models. These models are used to help Caltrans evaluate plans and projects that
are most beneficial to the environment, economy and transportation network,
while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
model may also be a good idea of other states to consider—especially after the
Colonial Pipeline problems on the east coast in both September and October,
which brought attention to the long-distance truckers bringing gasoline to
major metro areas. By collecting this important data, California and other
states’ transportation officials can determine when volatile fuels like
gasoline are being transported, where they’re going and when it’s happening.