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Moving the American Economy - U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 26, 2007
Contact: Nancy Singer
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 03-07

FHWA Grants Help States Tackle Congestion in Innovative Ways

The Federal Highway Administration today concluded the final round of 2006 grant awards to states to explore a variety of driver-fee approaches to reducing congestion, bringing the total amount in grants close to $8 million for 12 different projects in six states.

As part of the projects, the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority will look at ways to combine highway and transit pricing strategies and Illinois will study the effect of pricing on how drivers choose their routes in the Chicago area. Florida will examine car-share use when prices fluctuate and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will upgrade "E-Z Pass" electronic tolling technology to allow toll rates to vary in both directions. King County, Washington will conduct a field test to determine if driving patterns change when insurance fees are based on usage.

"We all know that relieving congestion, and helping drivers avoid congested areas, is important to our quality of life and vital to keeping our economy moving in the right direction," J. Richard Capka said.

Capka added that the projects are all in line with the Department's national strategy to reduce congestion that calls for more innovative strategies to provide congestion relief to travelers.

The successful Value Pricing Pilot Program, which provides these grants, is continued at $59 million through 2009 under the surface transportation law signed by President Bush in August 2005. The administration's recently released budget request for fiscal year 2008 calls for an additional $100 million for the program.

FY '06 Value Pricing Pilot Program Grants

State

Locality

Project

Grant

1

California

Santa Clara

Study on priced lanes

 $760,000

2

California

San Diego

Smart parking field test

 $640,000

3

California

San Francisco

Car share pricing innovations

 $436,000

4

California  

Southern California

Assessment of PierPass, off-peak truck discounts, environmental benefits

 $118,311

  5

 Florida

University of South Florida

Testing of dynamically priced car sharing with Zipcar

 $331,289

  6

Illinois

Northeastern Illinois

Study on feasibility of variable tolling

 $750,000

  7

New Jersey/New York

New York area

All Electronic (cashless) Tolling System

 $988,000

8

Minnesota

Minneapolis

Innovative parking demonstration

 $580,000

9

Minnesota

 Statewide

Mileage-based pricing regional outreach program

 $230,000

10

Minnesota

Statewide

FAST Miles Implementation Test

$60,000

11

Washington

Seattle

Puget Sound Tolling Strategies Public Awareness Program

 $935,000

12

Washington

King County

Pay-as-you-drive insurance

$1,900,000


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