The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) contains meaningful reforms that collectively represent a significant improvement in federal surface transportation law.  For the most part, federal law directly on the subject of public-private partnerships saw little change of significance.  Other federal laws, though not directly addressing PPPs, also affect the viability as a project financing mechanism.  Changes to the TIFIA program and to federal tolling law that will markedly improve project finance via public-private partnerships were addressed in our earlier postings.

Meaningful Reform:

  • Private Sector Participation.  MAP-21 requires the Secretary to develop policies and procedures to (1) promote public understanding of the role of private investment in public transportation projects and (2) better coordinate the public and private sectors with respect to public transportation services.  To that end, the bill further requires the Secretary to identify impediments to the greater use of public-private partnerships and to address them by developing and implementing procedures similar to those used in FHWA’s "SEP-15" process.  The SEP-15 process allows the Secretary to waive statutory and regulatory requirements on a case by case basis in order to increase project delivery flexibility and promote public-private partnerships.

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