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Firsthand look: Parking info system shows truck spaces in real time

Does it deliver as promised? Yes, the Truck 'N Park parking information system that went live last week works just as advertised to provide real-time updates on truck parking spaces at two Interstate 95 North rest stops in the Washington, DC area.

Scheduled to begin Friday, Nov. 20 and run as a free demonstration program for about four months, the system actually was up and running the evening before that, and Fleet Owner got a chance to try out Truck 'N Park by phone and online. It provides a revealing look at parking tendencies at the demo's two rest stops — the I-95 North Ladysmith Safety Rest Area in Ladysmith, VA and the I-95 North Welcome Center in Laurel, MD — and the first thing you'll notice is the Maryland rest stop is much busier than the Virginia one, often with just a handful of spaces or fewer available at prime times.

That's where the real-time system comes in handy; it uses in-pavement sensors to give updates continually on how many trucks are parked at both the rest stops. For example, at 5:26 p.m. Thursday evening, Nov. 19 — around the time when many truckers already are looking for parking for the evening — we found between 4 and 5 spaces were available at the Maryland rest stop and 30+ at the Virginia stop, and not 10 minutes later those figures had dropped to 2 spaces and still 30+, respectively.

Truckers can call 855-875-7275 (855-TRK-PARK) and use a voice-prompt system to check parking or go online to to view a map showing the spaces that are available at either rest stop. If you're going to be on the road driving, we found the best, safest method is to phone in or go online before your trip to set up a call-back at a specified time; either way is quick and simple. The system will call you back precisely then and tells you how many spaces are available at the stop you chose.

Click here to read more about the Truck 'N Park system and demonstration project

TAGS: News Business
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