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CRPC evaluating firms to create, implement program to reduce congestion on area highways

The Capital Region Planning Commission is evaluating a number of proposals submitted by consulting firms earlier this week to prepare and implement a rideshare and travel demand management program that aims to reduce commuter trips by single occupant vehicles throughout the region.

While lawmakers at the state and federal level plan, discuss and try to find funding for mega infrastructure projects that would increase capacity on the Capital Region’s interstate system, this relatively inexpensive program would tackle the area’s chronic traffic congestion from another angle—trying to reduce the number of vehicles on the highway.

“We want to look at ways to reduce congestion by carpooling, vanpooling, and working with businesses to implement things like telework policies and flex work schedules,” says Kim Marousek, director of planning at the CRPC. “We want to look at best practices across the country and also be able to really market that and make it something people here want to do.”

Marousek declines to say how many firms submitted proposals in response to the CRPC’s request, which was issued earlier this month. But she says the response was “fair.”

The program is a joint initiative of the CPRC and the Louisiana Department of Transportation, and has a $1.3 million budget that would be spread over the three years it is expected to take to get the program up and running. Once it’s established, the CRPC would take over management of the program.

While the CRPC is currently reviewing the proposals, a selection committee will meet in early August to select the firm with which the state will enter into contract negotiations. Marousek hopes the program could be under way by the end of the year.

—Stephanie Riegel

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