Focus group, scheduled for tomorrow in L.A., on hold

| 11/13/2007

The first focus group aimed at gaining truckers’ input on ways to improve California roadside rest areas has been put on hold for now, but not because of a lack of response.

Plans are still in the works to reschedule the meetings to better accommodate the parking and logistics needs of truckers wanting to participate in the discussion groups.

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

The decision to change the location and date of the first focus group was mainly because of parking constraints for truckers wanting to participate in the discussion, but not having a place to park their rigs in Los Angeles.

Patricia Costanza, president of TMD Group, told Land Line in early November 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 said. “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 effect 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