Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for firms or teams of firms with the ability to perform all or most of the services required to design, implement, operate and maintain a congestion pricing program for New York City. Responses will provide the New York City Traffic Mitigation Congestion Commission, other governmental entities and the public with information on the means through which a congestion pricing plan could be implemented. It is not intended as a formal offering for the award of a contract or for participation in any future solicitation, and the City does not intend to grant any contracts on the basis of the responses. The RFEI, to be issued tomorrow, was crafted by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT ).
"Congestion throughout New York City is clogging our streets, polluting our air and restricting our economy, and the time to do something about it is now," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Traffic Mitigation Congestion Commission will examine our plan and other pricing plans, and the responses from firms with the right technological expertise will be useful to demonstrate in detail how such a plan may be implemented. If we are going to meet the required implementation date of March 31, 2009 to receive $354.5 million in federal funds, we have to begin planning now."
Respondents to the RFEI will be asked to submit an overall approach to the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of a complex, high volume congestion pricing system. Respondents will be asked to identify the key issues involved in implementing such a system and their ideas for innovative operational and technological solutions. Specifically, they will be asked to address issues related to field equipment, communications, interoperability with E-ZPass, operations, enforcement, maintenance, privacy, urban design and traffic data monitoring.
"Congestion pricing represents a historic opportunity to address traffic congestion now, improve air quality and raise billions of dollars for much needed mass transit improvements. We believe the Traffic Mitigation Congestion Commission, and the subsequent reviews by the City Council and State Legislature, will find that the Mayor's congestion pricing plan or something very close to it is the best way to tackle it," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. "Responses from the private sector will give us a better understanding of the various approaches for successfully implementing a reliable and effective congestion pricing plan."
In April 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled PlaNYC, an ambitious, 127-point plan to create the first truly sustainable city of the 21st Century. At its heart is a proposed new congestion pricing initiative that would alleviate the incredible burden vehicle traffic imposes on New York City. The City believes congestion pricing would reduce traffic in all five boroughs, remove some of the largest constraints to our economic growth, help New York City achieve the cleanest air of any big city in the United States, cut our global warming emissions and provide funding for critical enhancements to our mass transit system.
In July 2007, the State Legislature passed, and Governor Eliot Spitzer signed, a law creating the New York City Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission composed of appointees of State and City officials. The Commission will review the City's congestion pricing plan as well as other congestion mitigation proposals, and will develop a plan to implement them. Under the law, any plan the Commission proposes will have to meet the net reduction in vehicle miles traveled that the City's congestion pricing plan provides. The commission is required to issues its recommendations by January 31, 2008 and the State Legislature and City Council are required to act on such recommendations by March 31, 2008.
On August 14, 2007, the United States Department of Transportation awarded New York City $354 million in funds through the Urban
Partnership Agreement. The funds will cover the costs of a major short-term expansion of public transit into Manhattan that will accompany the implementation of the Mayor's congestion pricing plan, or an alternative pricing plan meeting the conditions set forth in the Agreement, as well as some funds towards the implementation of the pricing system itself. Several conditions attached to this grant will have to be met by any plan ultimately approved by the State Legislature in order for the State and City to receive this funding. In addition, a critical condition is that the congestion reduction system chosen must be implemented no later than March 31, 2009 and must be operational for at least 18 months.
The City may use the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 70 Contract to implement this project. Interested parties should become familiar with GSA's contract terms and conditions, and take steps necessary to be placed on the GSA Schedule 70 Contract list. In addition, interested parties should request that they be added to databases maintained by NYCEDC, the City of New York and the State of New York which may be used in lieu of GSA Schedule 70. Details on these databases will be included in the RFEI.
NYCEDC will manage the RFEI process in cooperation with the City, DOT and DoITT. The responses to the RFEI will be used for strategic planning purposes only. Although no contractors will be procured through this RFEI, future Requests for Proposals for congestion pricing services may be issued exclusively to respondents, so all interested and qualified parties are urged to submit proposals.
To obtain a copy of the complete RFEI starting tomorrow, visit www.NYCEDC.com/rfp. A pre-submission meeting for the RFEI will be held at NYCEDC on Monday, September 10, 2007 at 3:45 p.m. at 110 William Street, New York City. Those wishing to attend must RSVP by e-mail to CongestionpricingRFEI@nycedc.com on or before Friday, September 7, 2007. Interested parties are urged to attend the informational meeting. Responses to the RFEI are due by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2007.