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Caltrans authorizes food trucks to operate at rest stops

Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 01:41:29-04

Caltrans is allowing the temporary operation of food trucks in 86 state rest areas that will provide food for highway truck drivers and motorists and revenue for food truck operators during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The goal is to increase the number of convenient food options available to truck drivers. Food truck operators can apply for a temporary encroachment easement permit to operate at one or more of the state’s rest areas.

Each food truck is responsible for all waste cleanup and removal, following all food-safety rules, and maintaining social distancing among employees and customers.

Operators need to specify the rest areas for which they are applying, and the permits will be valid through June 15.

Because food trucks are licensed locally, each truck can only operate within the locality for which they are licensed and permitted by the local health inspector.

This new program from Caltrans is coming in light of Governor Gavin Newsom's Executive Order N-52-20, which suspends restrictions of selling commercial food at the state’s rest areas during the COVID-19 crisis.

You can see which rest areas currently have food trucks currently operating here: bit.ly/CT_FoodTrucks [bit.ly]

Applicants can submit their requests for specific rest areas at http://dot.ca.gov/programs/traffic-operations/food-trucks-rest-areas [dot.ca.gov].

The FHWA suspended related federal prohibitions earlier this month.

Because many rest areas have been established in remote areas with fewer roadside services available, Caltrans cannot guarantee every rest area will be served by a food truck and at what frequency. Lists of participating food trucks will be posted on the Caltrans website.