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?