Truckers asked to focus on California rest areas

| 11/9/2007

Truckers are being asked to weigh in on a subject that is important to every driver that hauls on California’s highways – and there’s an opportunity to earn a little money in the process.

The California Department of Transportation has contracted with the University of California at Berkeley and a social marketing and research group dubbed tmdgroup to conduct two focus groups to gather truckers’ input on California’s roadside rest areas. Truckers will be given $100 for their participation, which should take a maximum of two hours.

The first focus group is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Atkins Research in Los Angeles, and the second focus group is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 at AIS Research in Fresno. At least 12 truckers are needed to participate in each focus group.

Patricia Costanza, president of tmdgroup, told Land Line that some of the open-ended questions that will be asked include how the state’s rest stops can be improved, what safety concerns truckers have, and whether they think wireless internet access is a good idea at rest stops in the state. She said truckers who participate are welcome to bring up suggestions or problems on how to improve rest stops in the state.

“This is really a great opportunity for truckers to give their input and opinions on many different issues affecting them,” Costanza told Land Line. “This is an open discussion format, which is so much better than having them just fill out a survey. They can bring up anything that is on their mind – and that word will get back and possibly affect change.”

If you are interested in participating in either of the focus groups, call (916) 487-5109 or e-mail and put “focus group” in the e-mail’s subject line.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer