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Popular food truck sites to be determined by lottery

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  March 8, 2012 03:31 PM

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Food truck owners will be at Boston City Hall on Thursday to find out where and when they will be able to park their mobile meal-makers during the city’s second food truck season.

The city’s Mobile Food Truck Committee is using a lottery system this year to determine when each of the program’s trucks will be able to operate in the city’s top locations, as part of changes to the program this season.

Since certain sites, especially those downtown, are the most popular and often most profitable for truck owners, the city has established a lottery for its most popular public sites in an effort to make the assignments more equitable and transparent in the growing program, according to an announcment on the city’s website.

“The Mobile Food Truck Committee seeks to preserve the spirit of the initiative through
programmatic changes that will ensure mobile vending in Boston remains creative,
flexible, and most importantly, mobile,” the document outlining chages states

The city has evaluated each vendor on a scale of one to ten based on a variety of criteria. Those with a higher standing will be in the first group of vendors randomly selected to take a shift with the second two groups following. All trucks new to the program will be placed in the third group.

The lottery system will be used to fill the shifts for the newly re-established City Hall Plaza site, as well as the “prime” sites, a new category established by the city. “Prime” sites are the Boston Public Library, Clarendon Street in the Back Bay, and the Financial District.

Another category, “Teir 1” sites, will also be determined by a lottery after vendors submit their scheduling requests for those sites. “Teir 1” sites include Stuart Street, Belividere Street, both sites on Boston University’s campus, Hemenway Street, Museum Road, Harrison Avenue, Peter’s Park, Washington Street, and Blossom Street.

Once the season officially kicks off April 1, food trucks shifts will begin at 6 a.m. and most dinner shifts will end at 11 p.m. with some exceptions. City Hall Plaza, which will close Nov. 1, will be open to trucks from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and have overlapping shifts during lunchtime.

Early this year, Staff Meal truck owner Adam Gendreau wrote an open letter asking the city to open more parking spots and allow trucks to cluster in the profitable Back Bay and Financial District. A move he said was need if the industry were survive.

In response, the city’s director of food initiatives, Edith Murnane, told the Globe the city was considering changes to the program, but could not ignore other businesses that could use parking spots for customers.
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Twitter: @JohannaKaiser
E-mail: johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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