Long Beach Council balks on $2 billion truck lease program

| Friday, July 11, 2008

The Long Beach City Council has reportedly agreed to reconsider the port’s truck replacement plan because of disagreement about the plan’s financing.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported this past week that Council members voted 6-0 to revisit the $2 billion financing portion of the port’s clean truck plan by the end of the summer.

The financing plan calls for drivers to be eligible for partially subsidized loans to obtain newer, cleaner-burning trucks with late model engines.

“I don’t think it makes fiscal sense or serves the public interest to lend money to these low-income drivers who are going to find it very difficult to meet their monthly payments,” The Press Telegram quoted Candace Kim of the Coalition for Clean Air. “If I were an elected official, I would want to make sure that the truck replacement program is going to work in the long term.”

The Port of Long Beach recently agreed to allow Daimler Financial Services for an estimated $2 billion in loans to local drayage drivers.

All trucks working at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will be required to meet 2007 emissions standards by the year 2012.