PierPASS Overhaul Envisioned by California Proposal Aimed at Alleviating Port Congestion
California Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) recently introduced legislation that he characterized as a means to start a conversation on overhauling the decade-old PierPASS program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Bill AB 531 would create the Southern California Joint Powers Authority, which would have the power to implement policies that alleviate port congestion, expand port infrastructure and reduce air pollution at the two ports. SCJPA would be governed by a board of representatives from the two ports, the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and other community stakeholders.
O’Donnell called PierPASS “an outdated relic” that has failed to modernize the gate system at these ports and left trucks continuing to experience long delays waiting to pick up and drop off cargo. PierPASS has also come under fire from Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero, who last summer questioned the continued need for the traffic mitigation fee it imposes on cargo containers at these two ports to fund extended gate hours. Cordero noted that this fee has risen substantially from $40 per 20-foot equivalent unit in 2005 to $69.17 per TEU as of Aug. 1, 2015, and called on PierPASS and the participating terminals to “justify the continued need for the TMF as well as the sustainability of annual TMF increases.”