New York City and Pensacola, Fla. to test off-hours delivery in DOT pilot program

With $200,000 allocated in grants from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), New York City, New York and Pensacola, Florida will participate in a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) pilot program designed to study traffic gridlock solutions.

To help relieve traffic congestion, the two cities will test delivery and pickup of goods during off-peak times such as night hours in order to relieve standstills for commuters, truckers and drivers angling for parking spaces on busy city streets.

The funding is split equally between Florida and New York, with $100,000 awarded to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York to recruit businesses to participate in the program; and $100,000 awarded to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to partner specifically with the Sacred Heart Health System, exploring the concept of off-hour freight deliveries at its Pensacola medical campus.

The pilot studies will determine how freight deliveries made outside of peak and rush hours, when there is less highway traffic, can save carriers time and money, improve air quality, and ultimately create more sustainable cities. The pilot project funding will help businesses adjust operation schedules to accommodate off-hour shipments, and assist distributors as they reconfigure routes and supply chains.

Earlier this year, the USDOT’s "Beyond Traffic” study estimated that by 2040 the amount of freight moving in the U.S. will grow by 45 percent.

If successful, the pilot program could be adapted for use in other U.S. cities, saving time and hundreds of millions of dollars--for businesses and truck drivers--and bringing relief to people tired of spending hours in traffic daily.

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