Guidance for State Implementation of ISTEA Toil Provisions in Creating Public-Private Partnership
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Guidance for State Implementation of ISTEA Toil Provisions in Creating Public-Private Partnership

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    Public-Private transportation partnerships have become a topic of increasing interest over the past decade. With needs outstripping limited government resources, transportation officials are looking for new mechanisms to finance badly needed infrastructure. Private sector participation in public-use projects - public-private partnerships - are one possibility for meeting these needs. Public-private partnerships vary tremendously in the degree to which the private sector assumes both financial and operating risks and responsibilities, and many structures for partnership are being explored which allow the government considerable flexibility in developing projects. Most successful public-private partnerships are on facilities which generate revenue for the private sector either directly (through tolling or other user fees) or indirectly (through improved access to private sector facilities). Because of this, toll facilities have been among the most common types of facilities proposed for public-private partnerships. The recent toll provisions of the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) provide an additional link between public-private partnerships and toll facilities. ISTEA allows - for the first time - the commingling of Federal-aid and private sector funds on toll facilities. In addition, ISTEA expands toll facility eligibility for Federal-aid to include new construction of toll facilities, reconstruction of current toll facilities, and conversion of currently free facilities (when those facilities are reconstructed or replaced). These provisions provide significant incentives for both States and private sector entitles to carefully examine the potential benefits of public-private partnerships.
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