LONG BEACH, Calif. — PierPass Inc. says its OffPeak program has diverted more than 40 million truck trips out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began 12 years ago this week.
The OffPeak program’s reduction in traffic congestion has also removed hundreds of tons of pollution from the region’s air, a major contribution to efforts by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach to cut pollution from the San Pedro Bay port complex.
PierPass is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, air quality and security.
“In southern California, heavy-duty trucks are the single largest source of both the pollutants that cause smog and exposure to toxic diesel particulates,” said Wayne Nastri, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “By reducing the amount of time that trucks spend trapped in terminal queues or traffic jams, OffPeak has made a big contribution to addressing our region’s air pollution problem.”
Without the OffPeak program, more than 12,600 additional truck trips would be jammed into local traffic every weekday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., enough trucks to stretch nearly halfway from Los Angeles to Las Vegas if lined up bumper-to-bumper.
The OffPeak program creates weeknight and Saturday shifts for trucks delivering containers to and from the ports, offers a congestion pricing incentive to reduce weekday daytime truck trips, and provides funding for the new shifts.
“Efficient goods movement enables a crucial jobs engine for Southern California’s economy to continue thriving,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. “The PierPass OffPeak program seeks to maximize the efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure and demonstrates the potential for private-sector innovation to tackle public policy problems. I encourage stakeholders to continue working together to strengthen the program to ensure goods can move as efficiently and safely as possible.”
OffPeak was conceived after a surge in cargo volume in the early 2000s led to severe traffic congestion and its associated air pollution in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Local communities and political leaders demanded that the ports take action to address the problem. OffPeak was created with the support of cargo owners, the ports and political leaders.
“Over the last 12 years, OffPeak had diverted more than 40 million trucks off our roads and freeways during the busiest times of the day,” said David Pettit, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “By reducing truck congestion at the marine container terminals and on the Harbor and Long Beach Freeway, the program has helped reduce pollution and increase mobility for the communities in and around the ports.”
For more information, see www.pierpass.org.