Mobility Services rolls out
new permitting program to support
essential travelers during COVID-19

In the days after Governor Little issued the stay-at-home order on March 25 and then extended it April 15 (expiring April 30), various departments within ITD had to make quick changes to meet customers’ needs.

The DMV moved their entire call center offsite, and ETS helped internal customers as they shifted their work stations to their homes.

The challenge for employees within Mobility Services came in the form of a request from the governor that Idaho join other states in supporting essential travelers by permitting food trucks at rest areas.

They had already heard from the trucking industry that hot meals were getting harder to find on the road and jumped on the governor’s request since the Federal Highway Administration had just announced that it would not enforce rules preventing such permitting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within days, Cathy Ford, Steve Spoor and Nestor Fernandez rolled out a draft permit for internal review. The group also reached out to other states, the Idaho Trucking Association and the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired to fine-tune the permit and implementation efforts.  

The team worked with Tony Ernest to help communicate these changes on 511, and if you visit the site, you can now see which rest areas may have food trucks parked at them, as well those that are being cleaned more often. Those notices are supported by the district coordinators who reached out to possible vendors and walked them through the new process.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better response from the Mobility Services Team,” said Dave Kuisti, Highways Construction and Operations Administrator. “They provided a thorough review of the issues and worked inclusively with district coordinators to get this process in place immediately."

Pictured below: A mother-daughter team offer goods from Windy’s Whip and Drizzle on I-84 near Blacks Creek Rest Area in April.


Published 05-08-20