New York City fumbled with Congestion Pricing and missed out on $354 million in federal funds. California happily makes a home for the leftover money with Congestion Pricing for downtown Los Angeles. The plan includes plenty of IT potential......
On April 25, 2008, $213 million in federal transit funds aimed at relieving congestion in urban areas was warmly received by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and California Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials. These funds will be focused in the Los Angeles region in an effort to enhance speeds on three log-jammed freeways by 2010.
What Work Will be of Interest to GovWin Members?
GovWin member will be interested in the following work related to Congestion Pricing:
- Wireless communications
- Sensing technologies
- Video vehicle detection
- Electronic toll collection
- Emergency vehicle notification systems
- Computational technologies
- Signal management
- Electronic ticketing
- Wireless metering
The Argument at Hand: Does Congestion Pricing favor wealthy commuters?
One of the main reasons why New York City's Congestion Pricing model sank is because most politicians involved felt that wealthy Manhattanites were the overwhelming beneficiaries of the proposed plan. It is almost undeniable that Los Angeles will experience similar opposition but it has been stated that 'Congestion pricing benefits all because it provides more options to commuters from all walks of life. Each commuter may select which mode makes the most sense to her or him in terms of cost and travel time. At certain times of day, the least expensive travel options--ride sharing and transit--may also be the fastest.' The initial benefits of Congestion Pricing focus on increasing the speeds of traffic within a region by implementing a High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane which varies per the congestion level of a highway and vehicle passenger occupancy. Also, the longer term benefits of the model will help enhance the modes of transportation typically used by less affluent citizens. Although LA's structural and financial dynamic is significantly different than that of New York City's where Manhattan is vital to the area's entire economy, the LA project will have the ability to serve as a model to the majority of other urban centers throughout the country as most cities are also working to make their downtown more vibrant and livable.
Continued Utilization of Congestion Pricing
The 'Building America's Future' coalition which seeks renewed federal investment in the nation's aging infrastructure was established by Governor Schwarzenegger, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in January 2008. In February, 13 more governors from across the nation joined the coalition. This indicates the potential of Congestion Pricing throughout the country.
GovWin is already tracking the related Los Angeles Congestion Pricing initiative with Opportunity 47632 and has identified the primary points of contact overseeing this effort within the Los Angeles region.
Read the related articles for a more in depth look at the LA Congestion Pricing situation:
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Congestion Reduction website
Daily Breeze: Feds OK Grant for Toll Roads
Los Angeles Times: MTA Votes for Tolls on Some Carpool Lanes by 2010
Video and article of LA's acceptance of the $213 million in federal funds