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Caltrans is allowing the temporary operation of food trucks in 86 state rest areas that will provide food for highway truck drivers and motorists and revenue for food truck operators during the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Thursday and the Federal Highway Administration approved a rule change in favor of the plan earlier this month. Newsom’s Executive Order N-52-20 suspends restrictions on selling commercial food at the rest stops during the current health emergency.

Food truck operators can apply for a temporary encroachment easement permit to operate at one or more of the state’s rest areas.

Curtis Gregory Perry Food truck operators will be temporarily allowed to serve at several California highway rest areas due to an executive order change amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Caltrans will begin accepting applications from the food truckers immediately. Applicants can submit requests for specific rest areas on the Caltrans website.

Operators must specify the rest areas for which they are applying. The permits will be valid through June 15.

Food trucks are licensed locally, and each truck can only operate within the locality for which it is licensed and permitted by the local health inspector.

Many rest areas have been established in remote areas with fewer available roadside services, and Caltrans said it cannot guarantee every rest area will have food truck service or for how long.

Caltrans will post a list of participating food trucks on its website and details on each rest area are available at quickmap.dot.ca.gov. People can click on Options and then the Rest Area box.

Thierry Tournache slices banana in the Golden Waffle food truck during SoMa StrEat Food's opening day on Wednesday, June 7, 2012
Alex Washburn/SFBay Thierry Tournache slices banana in the Golden Waffle food truck during SoMa StrEat Food’s opening day on Wednesday, June 7, 2012. Photos: Alex Washburn/SFBay

Caltrans director Toks Omishakin said:

“Helping our truckers and facilitating the movement of essential goods during the Covid-19 crisis is a priority.”

Omishaken said:

“We also hope this provides additional business opportunities for food trucks hit hard by stay-at-home health orders.”

Shawn Yadon, chief executive officer for the California Trucking Association, said:

“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.”

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