In December 2006, the Department issued a Federal Register Notice (HTML, PDF 72KB) soliciting cities to apply for Urban Partnership status by April 30, 2007, and promising that the selected cities with the most aggressive congestion-relief programs would receive priority consideration for available Federal discretionary funds (approximately $1 billion) across ten programs. To receive program funds, cities were also required to submit applications to the appropriate program offices. (Identical applications were accepted if all program application requirements were met.) The Department sought applicants to aggressively use four complementary and synergistic strategies (referred to as the "4Ts") to relieve urban congestion: Tolling, Transit, Telecommuting, and Technology. Full-day workshops were held in March 2007 in Washington, DC, Denver, and Atlanta to educate potential applicants about Urban Partnerships.
In August 2007, the Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, announced five final urban partners: Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Initially, a total of $853 million in Federal discretionary grants for these partners was also announced. Subsequently, New York City was unable to meet the terms of their agreement and, therefore, no longer able to participate in the program.
The Department continues to work with States and cities throughout the nation, whether Urban Partners or not, to use tolling and pricing strategies to reduce congestion and to raise revenues to support needed transportation improvements. The FHWA Office of Operations provides information about the full range of tolling and pricing opportunities available through Federal law. The Tolling and Pricing team guides individual States and jurisdictions that submit an Expression of Interest to the use of the appropriate Federal authority and technical approach to implement transportation pricing projects.
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