The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently approved two contracts totaling $5.5 million to assess the possibility of piloting mobility improvements that would include congestion relief pricing in L.A. County.
Metro awarded WSP USA a $3 million contract for the study's technical services, which will include investigating the feasibility and framework for testing and implementing motorist pricing strategies, evaluating several potential pricing models, identifying a location to pilot the program, and establishing a plan that would prioritize equity for all road users. The agency also awarded a $1.9 million contract plus a nearly $590,000 extension option to Guidehouse to help engage stakeholder and public involvement throughout the feasibility study.
A congestion relief pricing strategy would be accompanied by corresponding mobility improvements such as upgraded and more accessible transit in addition to safer walking and bicycle opportunities. The strategy has the potential to improve motorist experience while providing funds to upgrade alternate modes of travel.
“Our current road networks are extremely congested, with almost all major roadways clogged during rush hour. Everyone knows this causes inconsistent and frustratingly slow travel times,” Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James T. Butts said in a statement. “I think we have reached a tipping point. We are now forced to think outside the box in search of new ways to combat our worsening traffic. This study will give us the data we need to better determine if this innovative traffic-busting approach can work in the Car Capital of the World.”
Congestion relief pricing has seen successful implementation in cities around the globe, and New York City is currently considering such a program. Metro could potentially provide free rides on public transit as part of implementation of congestion relief pricing in L.A. County.
Following completion of the 18-24 month feasibility study, Metro will recommend one or more areas within L.A. County to conduct a potential pilot. At that time, the Metro Board will decide whether the pilot will move forward.
SOURCE: L.A. Metro