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Food trucks to operate at rest areas for truckers

mobile vendors food trucks
John Palminteri/ KEYT
More mobile vendors could be coming to Santa Barbara after an outreach meeting takes place.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Caltrans is allowing food trucks to temporarily operate in state rest areas during the COVID-19 public health emergency in order to provide access to food for highway truck drivers and motorists.

The goal is to give truck drivers more options while they are on the road. Food truck drivers can apply for a temporary encroachment permit to operate at one or more of the state's 86 rest areas.

Each food truck must clean up after themselves, following all food-safety rules, and maintaining physical distance from customers and fellow employees.

Food truck owners will need to specify which rest areas they are applying. The permits will be valid through June 15.

Each truck can only operate within the are they are licensed and permitted by the health inspector.

“Helping our truckers and facilitating the movement of essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis is a priority. We hope this gives truckers more food options to keep them and the economy moving,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “We also hope this provides additional business opportunities for food trucks hit hard by stay-at-home health orders.”

“We appreciate Governor Newsom and Caltrans for recognizing the vital role truck drivers play in keeping our communities safe and for working with trucking to ensure our industry has the tools necessary to respond to this crisis,” said Shawn Yadon, chief executive officer for the California Trucking Association. “Access to a warm meal is as essential as the truckers on our roads who continue to transport basic necessities, medical supplies and emergency equipment to communities across the state.”

Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-52-20 ends the restriction which stopped the selling commercial food at the state's rest areas. A similar order from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was issued on federal prohibitions last week.

Caltrans is accepting applications immediately. If you'd like to apply you can go to the website:

To search for our state's rest areas, you can visit QuickMap at:

San Luis Obispo County / Santa Barbara- S County / Santa Maria - North County / Travel / Ventura County

Katie Karl

Katie Karl is a producer at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.