According to the Orlando Sentinel, the primary focus of the study is to figure out where crowding is the most problematic and to find ways to alleviate those problems. The study is being conducted by Metroplan Orlando and is expected to be complete by the summer of 2002.
"When trucks are sitting in traffic, the cost of delivery increases," said Richard Harris, manager of transportation for Orlando-based Great Western Meats Inc., in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. "Ultimately, this cost is passed on to the consumer." He added that his company’s deliveries are down to 1.3 an hour, as opposed to an average of three deliveries an hour 15 years ago. Great Western Meats has been forced to put twice as many trucks on the road to try to keep up.
Officials say the problems are getting worse. Freight passing through Florida is rapidly increasing to around 525 million tons a year. This number is up 13 percent from five years ago. About 75 percent of that freight is moved by trucks.
Metroplan Orlando is a transportation and coordination organization for Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties in Florida. The cost of the study is expected to hit around $400,000 and will be paid for by the state Department of Transportation.