Everything you learned in Part 1 of “The Truth About Traffic” is what first got us Barton folks hot on the trail for possible solutions. What can we do to improve our air, waste less fuel, eliminate wasted time and money—all of which comes from trucks idling too long, too often on our nation’s roadways? What are the options out there to improve the dire state that truckers find themselves in these days? Is it more fuel efficiency technology? Is it more high-tech trucks? Is it better transit hours? You may be surprised at what we concluded.
What we found is that every time a truck gets more fuel efficient, every time the government imposes more clean air controls, we are treating the symptoms instead of the cause. And we’re getting very limited results. Truthfully, we could refine and refine fuel technology till a hundred suns set over our home town of Medina, and we would still be left wasting all that progress with a mere 10 minutes of idling during rush hour. Those 10 minutes accumulate very quickly into some very staggering numbers. In fact, they accumulate to more than 141 million hours of lost productivity each year. The emissions destroy our air, they waste time and cost our industry and therefore consumers $9.2 billion dollars each year. These aren’t realities that we should be willing to accept.
The answer we’ve found is better roads. We simply must improve our roads because that is the source of the problem. Better highway systems free up congestion and would completely prevent this waste of time and resources. As a whole, the ripple effect that begins with just one hour of idling would be stopped right at the get-go and would save money and time all across the board. Whose money? Well, here are some more numbers. There are more than 3,000,000 trucks traveling with loads in North America. Small businesses own 90% of them! And even though cars outnumber trucks 20:1, trucks end up with 36% of the taxes and fees for the Highway Trust Fund.
You may wonder how that’s possible. So do we! It all comes down to the fact that with cars getting more fuel-efficient all the time, they aren’t being taxed as much, leaving the Highway Trust Fund bankrupt. But remember in Part 1 how we talked about that 6 pounds of CO2 emitted from a single car during an hour of sitting in traffic?
Next time you find yourself sitting in traffic, think about what’s really going on and most importantly—how you can help! Call your congressmen and join the conversation. This time, making life better with Barton means joining the cause and getting active. Thank you for spending SOME of your precious time on the world of transportation.