Scheduling Shifts on a Public Way

  • All public sites are distributed through a lottery system.

  • There is one annual live lottery before the start of the vending season, and three additional form-based mini-lotteries occurring in subsequent quarters.

  • Sites allocated at the Annual Live Lottery are available for the whole vending year, subject to renewal every 3 months.

  • New vendors can join the program by any lottery deadline.

  • We recommend you visit the public sites you are interested in in-person for a clear idea of other food offerings and amenities in the area.

Lottery Dates and Deadlines


Lottery TypeDeadline to applyDate of Event
Annual Live LotteryNew Vendors: February 16, 2016
Returning Vendors: March 1, 2016
March 14, 2016
Mini Lottery 1June 1, 2016June 14, 2016
Mini Lottery 2September 1, 2016September 14, 2016
Mini Lottery 3December 1, 2016December 14

Adding and Dropping Shifts

  • In each subsequent quarter after the Annual Live Lottery, food truck vendors are able to add or drop shifts to their schedule without facing a penalty.

  • Shifts are added or dropped via online forms. Vendors receive the forms via email. Update or add your email address by emailing

  • If more than one truck wants to add the same location, a mini-lottery happens.

  • Vendors wishing to drop a shift at any other time outside of the deadlines will forfeit fees already paid.

All vendors should be aware of the following important dates for the 2016-2017 vending year:


QuarterDeadline to drop a shiftDeadline to add a shiftNew Schedule Effective
1n/aMarch 14, 2016April 1 - June 30, 2016
2June 1, 2016June 14, 2016July 1 - September 30, 2016
3September 1, 2016September 14, 2016October 1 - December 31, 2016
4December 1, 2016December 14January 1 - March 31, 2017

Add/Drop Example

  • If you wanted to drop a Monday lunch shift at Boston Public Library for the third quarter, you would need to submit the ‘Drop’ form by September 1, 2016.

  • To replace the dropped Boston Public Library shift with another location, you would need to submit the ‘Add’ form by September 14, 2016.

  • After submitting both forms, you could pick up your updated site license for the third quarter as of September 28, 2016. This site license would have the sites you kept and any sites you gained in the mini-lottery. The site that you dropped would not be on this license.

  • Your updated site license would be effective October 1 - December 31, 2016.

Please note vendors wishing to drop a shift at any other time will forfeit fees already paid.


  • Info Session for New Vendors

    The Office of Food Initiatives will be hosting info sessions for new vendors in February, May, August, and November in the Boston City Hall in the BRA Boardroom (9th Floor) starting at 4:00 PM. We will provide a thorough overview of the Mobile Food Truck Program and provide an opportunity for asking specific questions.

    View All Info Sessions

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  • Want more food trucks in your area?

    Now you can suggest a new food truck location in Boston with our Food Truck Suggest-a-Site map.

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