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