The mayor's people say that traffic in Manhattan's central business zone can be reduced by 6.3 percent if commuters are charged $8 to drive to work, and $4 for driving within the zone. But the folks from Consulting Stream, one of 30 potential bidders, suggest that $8 just isn't steep enough to force enough people to stop driving their cars to Manhattan. Coming from a company involved in London's highly touted traffic-reduction program, which charges about $16, that view probably shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
Congestion Pricing Questions: Who's skeptical about the mayor's traffic plan? The companies bidding to run it.
The people at Skymeter, another potential bidder, go even further: They call the goal to reduce traffic by 6.3 percent "unambitious." It will, they say, "do little to ease congestion in NYC." And any potential gain, they add, will be erased in a few years by population growth. "The goal needs to be at least twice that in order to meaningfully impact bus congestion, bicycle and pedestrian safety and air quality," the officials write.
Backers of the plan tout the money it will raise for mass transit. But Accenture, another potential bidder, cautions that in the end, trip times must actually decrease; otherwise, people will see the charge as just another tax. Other bidders say the mayor's plan is too expensive and too complicated to execute by the 2009 deadline.
Photo from Streetsblog