DOT releases model legislation for public-private partnerships
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday released model legislation that would give states flexibility to contract with the private sector to invest in and manage transportation projects.
The model legislation, part of the DOT's initiative to reduce congestion in the nation's transportation system, is based on a survey of existing state laws that authorize public-private partnerships in building, owning or operating highways, mass transit, railroads, airports, seaports or other transportation infrastructure.
'The growing stranglehold that congestion is placing on America's transportation network calls for new ways of financing and maintaining our critical transportation infrastructure,' said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters in a statement. 'This model legislation will help to ensure that states are in a position to tap into the billions of dollars that the private sector and lenders have amassed to invest in transportation.'
Issues addressed by the model legislation include which modes of transportation would be eligible for private investment, whether or when tolls may be collected, innovative procurement methods, upkeep requirements for leased roads, and provisions to be considered in an agreement with the private sector.
Peters noted that 21 states and Puerto Rico already have at least some legal ability to utilize public-private partnerships. However, many of those laws provide limited or project-specific authority. Broad authority will also give states the opportunity to take advantage of various federal tools and pilot programs now available.
The model legislation is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ppp/legislation.htm.