5 cities get $848.1 million in DOT funds for congestion relief
The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will give $848.1 million in grants to five cities to help fight traffic congestion.
DOT said it was providing these cities or regions with the following amounts: New York, $354.5 million; San Francisco, $158.7 million; Seattle area, $138.7 million; Minneapolis area, $133.3 million; and Miami, $62.9 million.
The five cities were selected from a list of nine 'Preliminary Urban Partners' considered for the grants. The DOT program for reducing transportation congestion problems took a broad look at all elements of local transportation systems on local economies, from trucks moving in and out of seaports to traffic flows around airports, and other local impacts.
In New York, the funds would be used for programs such as improved bus and ferry services, and would also help pay for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial proposal for imposing high fees on cars and trucks entering much of Manhattan during the daytime, But estimates are that the city still needs another $200 million if it is going to implement that plan.
The so-called “congestion pricing” proposal has been opposed by many trucking and delivery companies as well as commuters into Manhattan.
In Miami, the grant will fund a next-generation electronic express toll lane on Interstate 95 from Miami to Broward County.
The project would eliminate the existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on I-95, converting it to an all-electronic high occupancy toll lane. The toll lane would run on I-95 from I-395 in Miami to I-595, west of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The proposal from the Miami partnership called for the conversion of the 1980s-era HOV concept into a more modern electronically monitor toll lane, similar to the SunPass lanes now common in Florida. However, the new lane will have limited access, retaining the requirement for at least two passengers per vehicle as is required in existing HOV lanes.