30 Firms Submit Proposals for NYC’s Congestion Pricing System


In response to its "Request for Expressions of Interest," the New York City Economic Development Corporation has received proposals from 30 companies interested in implementing New York City’s congestion pricing pilot project. "This large number and quality of responses clearly indicates that the market place believes that the implementation of the City’s congestion pricing plan is feasible," EDC writes.

Technologically and economically feasible, that is. As for political feasibility… still working on that.

The entire list of companies can be found on EDC’s web site along with proposals from 21 of them. We’ve also provided links below to download the documents. Nine of the firms’ proposals were considered "business sensitive" and not made available for download.

We’re inviting readers to start looking through them and letting us know if you see anything particularly notable. IBM ‘s proposal is probably worth a close look since they developed Stockholm’s congestion pricing system. Likewise, I hear that Bern Grush’s Skymeter is proposing a rather unique technology solution. I was surprised to see that HopStop, the online subway mapping company, submitted a proposal.

I’d have to say that the big disappointment here is that the proposal from the never-before-heard-from "Congestion Solutions Group" was considered too confidential to put online. A veritable Super Friends of congestion pricing, the Group includes Northrop Grumman, Parsons, PIPS Technology, Transdyn, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Halcrow and ACS (we assume that last one is the IT company and not the American Cancer Society).

Based on an initial analysis of the 30 proposals, EDC notes:

  • Some proposed changes to the system suggested by respondents included implementing a cordon system as well as recommendations to alter the exact boundaries of these cordoned lines.
  • Given the proposed technologies the expected amount of required hardware would not be extensive and could be integrated into the City’s existing urban design
  • Privacy issues can be adequately addressed by the encryption of wireless communications and strictly followed protocols to protect the public.

  • Several firms expressed confidence in their ability to implement the system on the necessary timeline, although most identified it as a challenging timeframe. Some respondents suggested a phased-in approach to address the timeline concern.

After the break you’ll find the proposals available for download:

And these firms submitted proposals that were considered too "business sensitive" to make available to the public:

  • 3M, CSE Global Ltd., MSI Global Pte Ltd.
  • Accenture, Thales, American Traffic Solution (ATS), Gideon GRC Consulting, Vertex
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Autostrade per l’Italia
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • The Capita Group Plc.
  • The Congestion Solutions Group (Northrop Grumman, ACS, Parsons, PIPS Technology, Transdyn, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Halcrow)
  • Kapsch TrafficCom AG
  • Raytheon Company
  • fdr

    “This large number and quality of responses clearly indicates that a lot of consultants are salivating at the thought of making a lot of money.”

  • Spud Spudly

    I was thinking the same thing, fdr. Some may say the number of respondants indicates that people think it’s “feasible.” But others may say that it’s a large number of companies who relish the idea of another public teat to suck from.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The winning bid for the elevators at the World Trade Center was reportedly zero. Why? Because the companies though the prestige would allow them to dominate the market.

    If congestion pricing is implemented here and the pilot works, the company that implements it would get the first look in any other location. Given that it is a pilot, I would hope for a low bid as an investment in “goodwill.”

  • Tom

    So Spudly, you’d prefer the DOT build such a system from scratch? Or maybe let a nonprofit run the system, funded by donations?
    This pilot project isn’t a subsidy, it’s a contract, and it cannot move forward unless we pay the talent to build it.

  • Nona

    IBM also recently won the London contract and will dispace that city’s original contractor.

  • For once, let’s look at the positive side. Yes, this is no charity. This is not about displacement or even a vendor making money or displacing existing vendors. Vendors will make money. For sure. And the existing vendor can win this deal as well. So what if IBM has won the London contract? Congestion pricing solutions are not standard, pick, plug and play solutions. Anyone who can thing of a good solution and has the capability to build it will go on and win the deal.

    I think the good thing here is about the fact that it is possible to be implemented in NYC from an infrastructure and technology perspective. And that’s what is critical. Point is, if you have 30 companies who are confident of the solution, it is certainly workable.

  • I have perused about a third of the replies. As expected, they all say they can do what the city asks — without mentioning the cost. Many insert some common sense in between the lines. Like IBM which did Stockholm with just 18 sensor locations at its portals. They says if 100% detection of all internal trips is required, would mean installing sensors at every intersection, which would be prohibitively expensive and impractical. The foreword of Skymeter’s response tells it like it offers an eye in the sky solution. None so far ask whether there are better ways to detect and charge charge internal trips that are causing the problem — like taxis (which are planned to be exempt) and the Fed Ex and Fresh Direct which would be unfazed by a $5.50 charge and would benefit enormously from any reduction of other cars on the road.

  • Re Carolyn Konheim, re “Skymeter’s response”. NO to eye-in-sky. NO to tracking. YES to infrastructure-free GPS as an anonymous location service. GPS does not “see” anything. You need a different type of self-reporting receiver for that, which we do NOT use.

    We can detect and charge taxis or not as City wishes. Taxis are often exempt on basis that taxi trips are better that private automobile trips (I am NOT including cruising in this). And exemptions are not the vendor’s call. Agree that couriers would be unfazed by $5.50. Our system can charged couriers by-te-minute “stopping-fees” to park in geofenced zones (in lieu of parking tickets).

    “Stopping fees” are by-the-minute fees for stopping to deliver. Such fees are set by place and time so that stopping on especially busy streets, during busy times of the day costs more than less busy streets and times. This is part of the existing Skymeter technology (included in the submitted Expression of Interest), and merely needs a geo-fenced pricemap for courier-stopping fees.

    But that did not make the proposal. My oversight. Sorry. and thank you for your (implied) question! B.Grush, Skymeter. [also www-grushhour-com]

  • So Spudly, you’d prefer the DOT build such a system from scratch? Or maybe let a nonprofit run the system, funded by donations?
    This pilot project isn’t a subsidy, it’s a contract, and it cannot move forward unless we pay the talent to build it.

  • I’m searching for sites related to making an internet income and yours came up, this is helpful content, even though on a side track. TY.

  • Anonymous

     We are all paying dearly now. Congestion pricing will remedy that, and
    make sure that those who are causing such damage to our City (car
    drivers) pay their fair share.

    Business Process Outsourcing


Congestion Pricing Supporters Speak Up in Queens

Meghan Goth reports: With city buses slogging their way past double-parked cars on Archer Avenue just outside, Queens community members and elected officials testified on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for a three-year congestion pricing pilot program at York College Performing Arts Center last night. The Traffic Congestion Mitigation hearing, one of seven being held around […]

Bike-Share Coming to NYC? DOT Says It Will Test the Waters

After dropping hints that ‘Free Bike Fridays’ on Governors Island could serve as a prelude to something bigger, DOT today announced its intention to "explore the concept of bike share and investigate the feasibility of instituting such a program in New York City." The agency has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest [PDF] to […]

T.A. Responds to ‘Keep NYC Congestion’ Plan

Media release from Transportation Alternatives:  Transportation Alternatives ("T.A."), New York City’s advocate for cycling, walking and environmentally sensible transportation, has raised serious questions about the motives and efficacy of a proposed alternative to congestion pricing that has been presented to the New York City Traffic Mitigation Commission. "It’s ironic that Transportation Alternatives should have to […]

Submit a Congestion Pricing Question to Dr. Horodniceanu

The New York Times Empire Zone is hosting an interactive Q&A this afternoon with Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, a name that Streetsblog readers will recognize from our post-Iris Weinshall DOT commissioner search process rumor-mongering. Help the Times collect some good, smart questions. Here is what they’re doing: We have arranged for Michael Horodniceanu, one of the […]

Schaller: Road Pricing Won’t Fly Without Driver Support

Road pricing won’t ease this BQE traffic jam unless drivers want it to, says Bruce Schaller. Image: photoAtlas via Flickr. Road pricing isn’t going to happen unless drivers want it to, writes Bruce Schaller, one of the architects of New York’s congestion pricing push. That’s the central conclusion of a new paper Schaller penned for […]

David Yassky Supports Congestion Pricing

City Council Member David Yassky has come out in favor of congestion pricing, with the caveat that "many features of the Mayor’s proposal will need to be reworked." Yassky’s Brooklyn district, it’s worth noting, encompasses three East River bridges, the Battery Tunnel and a seemingly endless number of of honking, spewing, frustrated motorists. Until last […]