Industry leaders and public agencies developing alternative project delivery projects or public-private partnerships (P3s) will tell you that not all projects should be advanced as a P3 project. I consider this important and sage advice to those with established alternative delivery programs and new public owners looking to enter into P3 development.
The financing of transportation projects using toll revenues has long been the province of toll agencies. With the increasing use and recognized benefits of tolled managed lanes, state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies are more engaged in adopting innovative project approaches that apply the tolling principle and the ability to leverage toll revenues to advance much needed capacity improvement projects.
The need for increased investment in the nation’s infrastructure has been well documented. A 2016 infrastructure report prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers assigned failing grades to virtually every category of public infrastructure in the US.
As states and transportation agencies increasingly use P3 terminology, legislation and approach vary nationally.
“Contractual agreements formed between a public agency and a private sector entity that allow for greater private sector participation in the delivery and financing of transportation projects.” – FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery
In developing a public-private partnership (P3) schedule for managed lanes, a toll consultant must determine its role during the initial stage of a project. Also, it should determine when and how the consultant should be integrated into the overall project approach, and whether early involvement justifies the cost. Typically, the initial project focus is on developing procurement documents, technical requirements, and managing stakeholder coordination. Often, the toll system is seen by developers almost as a commodity without the need to emphasize it until the project is well underway. Let’s examine key components of toll scheduling and how they fit into a project schedule.