On Wednesday, Connecticut’s Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) unanimously and (according to one board member) “enthusiastically” resolved to “undertake a comprehensive review and analysis of electronic tolls and congestion pricing as a means of both managing transportation and raising revenue.” Funding for the pricing study will come from the $5.5 million allotted to the TSB in the recent state bonding bill. (see MTR # 567).
The Office of Policy and Management (OPM), where TSB is housed, plans to procure the necessary consulting services to conduct the study next year. Prior to this, a scoping process will be undertaken by OPM in January. It is anticipated that the report will be published around this time next year and will be quite broad, ranging from an analysis of the type, location and operation of some tolls to the economic and environmental impact of toll implementation.
The Tri-State Campaign has long been an advocate for a congestion pricing program on Connecticut’s roadways (see MTR # 392), and urges OPM to study the possibility of devoting pricing money to a ‘transit lock-box’ that would be used solely for transit operations and improvements.
Wednesday’s announcement could also be a good sign of things to come as transit advocates await the results of the delayed ConnDOT Reform Commission’s recommendations, now due in the first part of January. In fact, congestion pricing is one of four key components business, environmental, transit and civic groups hope to see included in the recommendations.
Image: Commuters on Connecticut’s I-95. From TSTC’s “It’s the Sprawl, Stupid! What’s Driving Connecticut’s Traffic Congestion,” available here.