Port of Oakland awards contract for truck grant program

| 1/13/2006

Truckers operating in northern California will soon have several reasons to buy a new truck – 25,000 reasons, to be specific.

The Port of Oakland – the fourth-largest container port in the country – announced this week a contract with TIAX, a technology development firm, to support the development and implementation of a program to replace heavy-duty diesel trucks that service the port with newer, lower emission vehicles.

TIAX was awarded the contract based in part on its successful implementation of a similar type of program in the Los Angeles area for the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, a consortium of 27 cities in southeast Los Angeles County that gives incentives to truckers driving older vehicles. Land Line previously reported on Gateway’s program in its July 2005 issue.

“We are honored to have been chosen by the Port of Oakland to undertake this important initiative and hope to expand our work into other U.S. cities in the near future,” said TIAX Chief Executive and Founder Kenan Sahin in a press release.

Under the program, the port will begin offering grants of $25,000 to truckers with 1986 or older rigs to purchase a new truck, news Web site insidebayarea.com reported.

The money stems from a 10-year-old agreement made by the port during a major expansion, which guaranteed $9 million for “environmental mitigation projects,” according to the Oakland Tribune.

“We are trying to get the oldest and dirtiest trucks out of here,” Tim Leong, an environmental scientist who studies the port’s pollution problem, told the Tribune. “We looked elsewhere to see what other successful programs are going on in California and found this one.”

In the Southern California program, the trade-in vehicle has to be a 1986 model or older, and must be traded for a 1999 or newer truck. Allynn Howe, president of Government Relations Consultants, a lobbying group that represents Gateway, said the incentives average $20,000 to $25,000 per truck, but could go higher.

“The large fleet companies – over-the-road fleet carriers – will tend to modernize their fleet on a regular basis, and so they’re not really the problem,” Howe said. “The problem is the little guys. This program would significantly increase the incentive for them to come in and dump their old trucks and replace them with new ones.”

For further information on the Port of Oakland ’s Replacement Truck Program, call (510) 627-1380.