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A critique of The Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Response to the 2018 Highway Truck Parking Study,
and an Action Plan for Discussion

About this report:  This brief update report builds on work completed by SPR in 2018, and the extensive contributions of trucking stakeholders including drivers who participate in that study.  See No Place to Sleep, No Place to Rest for details.  The focus of this 2021 report is on the MTO response to the 2018 report, and directions needed for solving the truck parking shortage going forward. 

Acknowledgments: Thanks are due to many who contributed to our 2021 update report. Particular thanks are due to the 2,300+ drivers, and hundreds of other individuals, and also municipalities which contributed to the original 2018 analysis.  As well, we would like to express particular thanks to Cam Wooley (Formerly of OPP Commercial Vehicle Division and CTV) for his comments and suggestions.  We would also like to thank Dr. Ron Knipling, President, Safety for the Long-Haul Inc. for his suggestions.  Dr. Phil Bigelow, University of Waterloo and many others also have also provided improved understandings and suggestions.

About SPR:  In public policy research, SPR has a 25+ year track record of work for Ontario and the Federal governments on challenging issues such: as Civilian Policing Oversight, National Security programs, international trade, Family Violence shelters, childcare, automobile manufacturing, housing, Indigenous affairs, health, Reproductive Technology, racism, and other sensitive matters.  In surveys, SPR has a 25+ year track record, reaching nearly all communities in Canada, and over 100.000 Canadians. *

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By Michael Ahart, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Omnitracs

The Canadian ELD Mandate goes into effect June 12, 2021. What does that really mean?

All federally regulated motor carriers in Canada must equip commercial motor vehicles with a third party certified ELD device by June 12, 2021… or do they? Law enforcement will begin enforcing the mandate and issuing ELD related citations beginning June 12, 2021...
or will they?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the Canadian ELD Mandate so I join you in trying to understand what’s myth, what’s reality, and what will happen when. Here is where we are.

As indicated by the Minister of Transportation, the Mandate will go into effect June 12, 2021. However, on March 2, 2021, he stated that the government will begin a phased enforcement rollout after June 12 that focuses on ELD education and awareness at first. Does this mean that drivers can continue to use paper logs? How long will this period of education and awareness last? Why have they decided to take this approach?

I’ve heard the terms ‘deferred enforcement,’ ‘progressive enforcement,’ and ‘graduated enforcement’ used in various industry-related circles to describe expectations; however, as of this writing, no related enforcement program has been shared – although we can expect that the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators will provide a proposal within the next few weeks. There is no doubt we will be knocking up against the deadline before we have clarification.

I know there is a limited number of motor carriers happy to see a delayed enforcement program, as they’d rather continue using paper logs. Many others are unhappy as they have already made the investment in electronic logging devices and are simply waiting on an over-the-air update with the third- party certified ELD software.

The lack of clarity on the topic has a significant impact on those who are concerned if their financial investment has/will result(ed) in the acquisition of an ELD that will receive third-party certification. There are currently no certified ELD devices listed on the Transport Canada website, although many devices have been submitted for certification. With multiple ELD providers submitting multiple ELD devices to the one accredited certifying body, motor carriers must obtain assurance from their ELD provider that it is actively participating in the third-party certification process developed by Transport Canada. At a cost of nearly $50,000 USD per ELD submitted to obtain certification, the financial investment made by the ELD provider is a significant commitment and will be undertaken by a limited number of ELD providers.

Current News

A Critique of MTO’s Response to SPR’s 2018 Truck Parking Study

By Ted Harvey, SPR Associates Inc.

Background
In May 2018, SPR Associates of Toronto submitted a report to The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) on long-haul truck parking and rest areas along Southern Ontario Highways. This $280,000 Study involved a major review of truck parking in Southern Ontario and was led by Dr. Ted Harvey of SPR, with a U.S. and Canadian advisory panel of engineers and transportation and safety specialists. This state-of-the-art project was the most thorough study of this issue ever conducted in Canada, or perhaps anywhere, with engineering simulations based on over 450,000 truck trips on 25 highway segments, and online surveys of over 2,300 Canadian and U.S. truck drivers. Several hundred trucking companies were also surveyed. The goal of the Study was to assess the extent to which there is a shortage of truck parking and rest areas in Ontario and to make recommendations to address this issue.


The Study focused mainly on the highway 401 corridor from Detroit-Windsor to the Québec border, but with attention also to other 400 highways and rural areas. The 400 corridor, used by some 40,000 trucks per day, is a vital part of the supply chain for the Greater Toronto Area as well as the rest of Ontario. The surveys yielded detailed estimates of the need for parking on 25 Ontario highway segments and for over 70 existing truck stops. Drivers provided over 60,000 ratings of the difficulty of finding parking at all these locations. We also examined the history of implementation of Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations which limit driving hours to ensure rest. HOS drives the parking shortage and has been neglected by MTO for the past 15 years. On January 7, 2021, MTO issued a press release describing their proposed remedies to the parking shortage. 

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