7 Issue 2 | 2022 www.ortrucking.org influence local transportation projects from design to completion, but only if we’re an active participant in the discussion. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for any of us. Get Involved Many of you may be hesitant to get involved. Maybe you think that these committees require too much time. Maybe you’re unsure of how to engage or what to say once you have a seat at the table. This is where OTA can help. Many of these committees require a minimal time commitment. ODOT welcomes membership from the community and trucking can’t be shy when it comes to getting involved. Other groups are more than happy to jump in to dictate where our dollars go—even when trucking is a top “investor” in Oregon roads. Trucks pay over 30% of all road taxes in Oregon, while only accounting for 14% of all the vehicle miles traveled. Oregon is the most expensive state to operate a truck in in the nation, at $30,410. Astoundingly, there is a significant gap between us and number two on the list—California— which has a much lower price tag of $23,030! With proposed regulations and projects that we see coming at us, that cost could go even higher. All these facts tell us one thing: OTA members, non-members, suppliers, and anyone that is tied to the trucking industry in general needs to get involved. As you can see, we have a lot of ground to cover and we need more ambassadors to represent trucking’s interests, whether it’s in your own backyard or around a state project that impacts how you operate. OTA can provide the conduit to set you up with different committees, provide key facts and information, and help you craft the message you present to committee members. OTA deals with ODOT on a daily basis and has a good working relationship from the top down. Granted, there will always be a few wildcards from other groups or the public, but trucking’s position is solid. We need your help to get our collective message out there. Don’t just think about getting involved—act on it. Making a minimal time commitment can have a huge payoff when ODOT and local communities get input from trucking—the primary payers and users of Oregon’s transportation system.