The Southwest Transitway is a proposed light rail transit (LRT) line from downtown Minneapolis to the southwestern third-ring suburb of Eden Prairie. The project is currently scheduled to be operational by 2015 and to date has followed the prescribed planning process for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts funding. As funds for fixed guideway transit projects across the United States require increasingly more local funding to compete for a federal match, more project sponsors are looking to public private partnerships as a way to put their projects within reach. The purpose of this paper is to understand the benefits and costs of PPPs to project sponsors and more specifically to evaluate the potential for a public private partnership on the Southwest Transitway project.
The first section of the paper is dedicated to defining the context and history of the Southwest Transitway to date. The second section considers the traditional New Starts process for funding the Southwest Transitway and other fixed guideway projects. The third section is devoted to an in-depth consideration of public private partnerships: the evolution of PPPs, costs and benefits of using PPPs in fixed-guideway transit projects, and the different kinds of PPPs possible. The fourth section reviews the use of PPPs in Portland, Oregon, Eastern New Jersey, and the Hiawatha LRT line in Minneapolis. The fifth section is an evaluation of the impact a PPP would have upon the Southwest Transitway New Starts application and uses a range of criteria to determine whether or not a PPP should be pursued for the Southwest Transitway. Finally, the conclusion sums up the results of the evaluation: a public private partnership would boost Southwest Transitway’s New Starts rating, improving the chances of receiving federal aid for the project and making it a reality.
Hall, Adele. The Potential for Use of A Public Private Partnership on the Southwest Transitway. March 31, 2009. Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
professional paper for the fulfillment of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning degree
The Potential for Use of A Public Private Partnership on the Southwest Transitway.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
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