Overview of Public-Private Partnerships for Highway and Transit Projects

2167 Rayburn House Office Building

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0 Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 10:00 | Contact: Jim Billimoria 202-225-9446

This is a hearing of the The Panel on Public-Private Partnerships, chaired by U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
Summary of Subject Matter
Official Hearing Transcript

Witness List:

  • Mr. Joseph Kile, Assistant Director for Microeconomic Studies, Congressional Budget Office | Written Testimony
  • Mr. James M. Bass, Interim Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, Texas Department of Transportation | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Phillip Washington, General Manager, Regional Transportation District | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Richard A. Fierce, Senior Vice President, Fluor; on behalf of Associated General Contractors of America | Written Testimony

    Chairman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
    Panel on Public-Private Partnerships
    Hearing on Overview of the Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Projects
    March 5, 2014
    Opening Statement
    (Remarks as Prepared)

    This is the second event, and first hearing, of the Panel on Public-Private Partnerships, or ‘P3s’.  We are investigating how P3s can accelerate the delivery of projects across all modes of infrastructure.  Today’s hearing will focus on how P3s can accelerate the delivery of highway and transit projects. Our roads and transit systems play a critical role in the movement of goods and people.

    States are increasingly utilizing to P3s to help them address their highway needs.  We are happy to have one of the leaders in this effort, the Texas Department of Transportation, with us today.

    Americans are also using transit systems more than ever to get them where they need to go.  But as we all know, building new transit lines can be a complex and costly effort.  The Denver region decided to pursue a P3 in order to significantly expand its transit system far more quickly and cheaply than would have been possible with traditional project delivery approach. We look forward to hearing from Denver’s Regional Transportation District this morning.

    In this hearing, we also want to explore how the public sector can ensure that P3 projects deliver public benefits, and how those benefits are protected over time.

    We also recognize that the private sector will only engage in projects that make economic sense for their business model.  So it’s important to understand what the private sector looks for when selecting projects to participate in.

    One critical issue we will discuss is how the public and private sectors can share in the risk of a project, especially in arrangements that can last for 30 years or more.

    Finally, while P3s are first and foremost driven at the state and local level, the federal government has a role to play in these arrangements.  The last surface transportation bill, MAP-21, significantly increased the size of the TIFIA program, which provides credit assistance to eligible surface transportation projects. We’ve heard from many stakeholders that the TIFIA program is a critical component of P3s in this country.  We want to explore how the TIFIA program is working, and what changes we may need to make in the next reauthorization bill.

    Private Activity Bonds are also an important part of P3 deals, and I’m sure we will hear about their role today as well.

    Again, I thank the witnesses for being here today.

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