Port announces new texting system to alert drivers of traffic conditions

A new traffic alert service announced by the Port of Long Beach could inform motorists of delays within the port complex with a text message.

The new Truck Alert system is intended for port truck drivers but residents and others traveling through the port can opt-in to the system to receive the alerts about road closures, crashes and other conditions inside the port.

Port spokesperson Lee Peterson said that the program isn’t going to spam users with needless alerts, just the ones that they probably want to know about.

“We don’t expect to have a ton of text messages; there’s no plan to use it to send out spam to people,” Peterson said. “We really want to make it convenient so when you see one you look at it. We don’t want it to be something you ignore.”

Peterson said that the roads inside the port complex are generally not traveled by the general public but anyone is free to sign up for the service. While there is some construction going on inside the complex to build out its rail capacity, the next big project will likely be the demolition of the old Gerald Desmond Bridge which could start as soon as April 2022 and take two years to complete.

The Truck Alert program could help reduce delays for truck drivers and help improve cargo movement, Peterson said.

The port still has a backlog of ships anchored offshore in Long Beach and the approaching holiday season likely means more cargo will be flowing into the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.

“This should be one more tool to help in that regard and it’s something we can do in the short term with the tools we have at hand,” Peterson said.

People who want to sign up for the traffic alert service can text “TruckAlert” to 79516 to subscribe. They can text “STOP” to the same number to be removed from the list.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.