SPECIAL REPORT: LA port approves OOIDA-influenced day-pass system

| 4/2/2009

OOIDA scored a major victory Thursday, April 2, for long-haul truckers who need occasional access to America’s largest combined twin port complex.

On Thursday, the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission unanimously approved a permanent day-pass system that will allow over the road truckers to make 24 visits annually. At press time, the Port of Long Beach was scheduled to consider a similar measure.

The twin ports are viewed as one complex under the measure. Trucks can purchase up to 24 day-passes per year, at a cost of $30 per pass.

The day-pass allows long-haulers to avoid a lengthy and expensive process to become port concessionaires as part of each port’s Clean Trucks Program.

Laura O’Neill, OOIDA government affairs counsel, attended the Thursday’s meeting and told Land Line OOIDA had worked with port officials for more than a year on the issue.

“Our main objective was to ensure that long-haul owner-operators were still going to be able to get into the port and do their jobs,” O’Neill said. “The day-pass allows long-haul drivers to come in on a temporary basis without having to worry about some requirements of the Clean Trucks Program that were impossible for them to comply with due to the nature of their jobs.”

Port leaders weren’t fully aware early in the process of how many long-haul owner-operators would be affected by a day-pass, she said, “and they really aren’t the trucks they wanted to capture in the Clean Trucks Program.”

The port is working to make day-pass purchases available online to make the process smoother when long-haul drivers arrive at the port gates.

“The ports are making every effort to make this as easy as possible for long-haul drivers,” O’Neill said.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer