Posts from 2016
Posted in Legislation, Policy

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, senior Department staff, and even an official from the White House gathered at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters on July 20th to celebrate the grand opening of the Build America Bureau. After sharing a cake emblazoned with its logo, the dignitaries led a tour through the Bureau’s new office space in what used to be the library, replete with glass offices, motorized desks, and curved computer monitors. Compared to the cubical-farm offices of the modal administrations, the Bureau is clearly something different and new, and ...

Posted in P3s

Public entities have recently been looking for new ways to harness right of way (ROW) for broadband public-private partnership (P3) projects.  Last year, the city of Santa Cruz made history by entering into a roughly $50 million P3 with local Internet service provider Cruzio to deliver 1-gigabit broadband access to every property in the city’s jurisdiction.  Construction began this month.  San Francisco is now considering pursuit of a similar P3.  On the other side of the country, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) recently released requests for proposals for legal and ...

Posted in Legislation

In response to a request from the California Department of Transportation, 5,000 California drivers signed up for the state’s nine month pilot program to replace the state’s gas tax with a charge based on vehicle miles traveled.  Starting July 1 of this year, the volunteers will make simulated payments based on how many miles they travel.  Participants include drivers from every part of the state and from every socioeconomic background, according to Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans executive director.  The opportunity to provide valuable input and evaluate the viability of a ...

Posted in P3s

The National Council for Public Private Partnerships, reengineered its 2016 P3 Connect annual conference June 27 to 29, 2016, posing the question What’s Next for public-private partnerships in the United States.  NCPPP (as it is widely known in the P3 space) launched four Institutes to offer answers.  NCPPP created four separate Transportation, Energy, Real Estate and Social Infrastructure and Water institutes, each of which met in Chicago over the three day conference starting discussions with where are we now and ending with where do we go from here.

In parallel, NCPPP reprised ...

Financing for the Maryland Purple Line closed on Friday, June 17 – marking an important milestone for the Maryland Transit Administration’s (and Maryland Department of Transportation’s) plan to deliver a transit solution to ease travel between the Maryland suburbs and Washington, D.C.

Once the project reached commercial close in early April, the winning concessionaire, Purple Line Transit Partners LLC (PLTP), worked closely with the MTA/MDOT team to finalize the financing structure and various other issues. This culminated in a week of financial closings which allowed ...

The Regents of the University of California announced on June 15, 2016 that it has selected Plenary Properties Merced as the successful proposer for the UC Merced 2020 Project.

We are impressed by the creativity, efficiency and aesthetic qualities evident throughout the winning proposal, said UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland.  Plenary Properties Merced has produced a compact, environmentally sensitive design that blends beautifully with our existing campus, facilitates our multi-disciplinary teaching and research methods, and provides flexibility for future changes in ...
Posted in P3s

Public agencies and private entities are increasing collaboration to develop, operate and maintain a variety of transportation and building projects.  The involvement of a public agency in these public-private partnerships or P3s may necessitate compliance with statutes or regulations not otherwise applicable to privately developed projects, including a requirement to pay prevailing wages to construction workers.  In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals held that a private project developed on land leased from the District of Columbia (D.C.) is not subject to the Davis ...

Commonly when we think about state government owned railways, the image of commuter or light rail operations come to mind.  But many states own freight railroads as well.  In a few instances a state may have started its own line, while in other situations a state may have stepped in to preserve a rail line from abandonment.

Oklahoma is one of these states that have purchased rail corridors facing abandonment.  One such example is the Cowboy Sub, a 22-mile rail line originally purchased from the BNSF Railway Company in 1998 to save the rail line from abandonment.  Now, the Oklahoma DOT seeks to ...

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to amend (81 Fed. Reg. at 26611) (May 3, 2016) a 2004 rule, restricting expenditure of proceeds from passenger facility charges (PFC) funds to airport access infrastructure used only by airport patrons and workers, in order to allow more flexibility on the use of PFCs on airport rail projects. The proposed PFC policy change could provide additional funding and finance options for airports and transit systems working to improve intermodal connections and give the public better access to the nation's airports.

PFCs are airline ...

On May 13th, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT Project, a major step forward for the $1.79 billion project. The Met Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and a provider of essential services for the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region.

The FEIS

The FEIS outlines the Met Council’s commitments to deal with those impacts throughout construction and operation of the Southwest LRT Project.

Input from the public directly shaped the ...

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