In 2008 and 2009, FTA and the National Council of Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) held eight workshops across the country to introduce, educate, and provide information on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to public and private sector actors. The workshops also provided a common place to bring together interested parties, identify barriers to PPPs, present case studies of PPP projects, and share best practices in the industry. Visit the NCPPP workshop presentations.
FTA’s guidance to grantees on private sector participation is contained in its Third Party Contracting Guidance (FTA Circular 4420.1F), which provides contracting and procurement guidance for recipients of Federal assistance awarded by FTA when using that Federal assistance to finance its procurement (third party contracts). The Circular also promotes private sector participation by simplifying project implementation by analyzing procurement plans.
FTA Capital Investment Program Guidance
FTA’s guidance to grantees on private sector participation is also contained in its Capital Investment Program Guidance and Application Instructions (FTA Circular 9300.1B). This circular addresses the grants that assist state and local government authorities in financing capital projects for buses, bus facilities, fixed guideway modernization, new fixed guideway systems, and the development of corridors to support new fixed guideway systems. Several items in the circular address private sector participation directly, such as:
- Innovative Finance – When integral to a capital investment project, Section 5309 funds may be used to pay for costs incurred to secure or initiate an innovative financing technique. However, that eligible cost may not be more than the cost of the most favorable financing terms reasonably available at the time of borrowing.
- Capital Cost of Contracting – When grantees contract for services, FTA will provide assistance with the capital consumed in the course of the contract.
- Private Sector Participation – Federal law requires the public to be involved in the transportation planning process, and specifically requires that private providers be provided an opportunity to be consulted in developing transportation plans and programs in both urbanized and rural areas.
Authorized in Section 3011(c) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Act (SAFETEA-LU) (PDF), FTA initiated the Public-Private Partnership Pilot Program (Penta-P) to explore the advantages and disadvantages of PPPs for new fixed guideway capital projects in 2007. Designed to reduce time and costs associated with the New Starts program, FTA selected three pilot projects to study whether PPPs were more efficient and economical in delivering projects and how risk sharing was integrated with project development, engineering, construction, operation, and maintenance functions. BART's Oakland Airport Connector, Houston's North and Southeast Corridor BRT, and the Denver Eagle projects were selected as pilot projects; the Denver Eagle project is expected to begin revenue service in 2016.
As part of the SAFETEA-LU statutory requirements, FTA issued the following report to Congress on the Costs, Benefits, and Efficiencies of Public-Private Partnerships for Fixed Guideway Capital Projects (PDF) in 2007, which provides an overview of the implications of using PPPs, as well as an analysis of the legal and institutional issues associated with implementing PPPs for transit projects.
Turnkey Demonstration Program
Authorized in Section 3019 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, the Turnkey Demonstration program required FTA to solicit a project to demonstrate the application of turnkey contracting practices in the development of major capital projects. The goal of the program was to improve project delivery efficiency for three interrelated aspects: development and funding (including environmental compliance), project management, and financing (including risk). The turnkey procurement method involves the consolidation of several contracting and functional roles — traditionally the responsibility of numerous contracting entities — under the umbrella of a single design-build or design-build/operate and maintain contract. For more information, see the Lessons Learned: Turnkey Applications in the Transit Industry report (PDF).
Learn more about Private Sector Participation.