Metro Board to consider contractors for congestion pricing feasibility study

pdf here

UPDATE: the Board in September approved the contracts described below.

The earlier post:

As part of Metro’s efforts to reduce traffic and improve mobility, the agency’s Board of Directors this month will consider awarding two contracts to conduct the agency’s Congestion Pricing Feasibility Study. Here are the staff report and attachments

One contract is for almost $3.1 million with WSP USA, Inc., for technical services. The other contract is for $1.9 million with an option for $570,000 with Guidehouse for communications and public engagement services.

The goal of the two-year feasibility study is to identify a place or places where Metro can test a package of mobility improvement that includes congestion pricing. To be perfectly clear: the decision whether to launch a pilot has not yet been made and will ultimately be up to the Metro Board and our interested local partners.

Some background: In February, the Board unanimously voted to launch a congestion pricing feasibility study as part of Metro’s “Re-Imagining of LA County: Mobility, Equity and the Environment” plan to reduce traffic, air pollution and greenhouse gases while improving transit.

The congestion pricing part of the Re-Imagining Plan has understandably received a ton of attention from the public and media. Congestion pricing uses tolls to help manage traffic flow at peak times. By many accounts congestion pricing is the best tool to actually reduce the number of vehicles on our road and get traffic moving again. Money from the tolls would fund transit and other improvements that can provide effective alternatives to driving alone.

Something else that is important to understand: public outreach and feedback will be an essential part of the feasibility study. Every step of the way, Metro wants and needs public input and participation to make this work.

The item will be discussed at the Board’s Executive Management Committee at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Metro headquarters adjacent to Union Station in downtown L.A. The meeting will be live-streamed; a link will appear here once the meeting begins.

Thoughts on the upcoming study and congestion pricing, readers?

6 replies

  1. What a way to waste $5 million!… Has congestion pricing ever been attempted in the United States? Such a massive restriction on the public’s right to access public places will never pass muster under our Constitution.

  2. If there are tolls that should go towards more road capacity… remove intersections, grade separate arterial roads, increase capacity, tolls moderate traffic. If there were a ballot measure to restrict congestion tolls to more road capacity only!, this idea would go flip from hell to heaven! Not that it will happen anyway, only place (except freeways where u have express lanes) metro could get away with this is LAX. As for converting car users to transit… I don’t think so, when ridership is the worse it’s ever been, simply come up with a cunning plan to tell people how to live their lives! Not happening. Maybe get the density and decent transit first. Lower Manhattan will probably get away with congestion pricing (as the majority don’t drive), most of SoCal certainly won’t, not now, not most places even into the future.

    • They don’t have to convert to transit, but obviously after having to continuously having to pay to drive into a specific area due to work, school, etc. then eventually a 1x, 2x a week trial might become routine.

      Unfortunately with the way Metro currently runs things (not a compliment), I still drive 3x/week (mainly for work). I don’t think anyone in LA is going to be completely car-free (including Uber/Lyft) for at least another generation or 2. The system we’ll have in pace in 2040 is still going to be incomplete. Barely 33% of what pacific electric was, still no rail service to Knotts, Disneyland and Huntington Beach, no proposed express tracks, stupid laws currently in place that cripple the system, etc. Yeah, I’ll agree no one will sell their cars anytime soon.

  3. I remember decades ago when employers used to send around a survey asking their employees if they are interested in carpooling; I am not sure that is still happening. Also, more employers should allow employees who are primarily on the computer to work from home.

    • Hi Rick;

      Good question. I know at Metro we take a survey — I believe from the SQAMD — on how and when we commute. I agree on telecommuting. Even just letting some people work at home one or two days a month would help traffic – and I think some employees would take that benefit in lieu of some others. Could be a big win-win.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source