Even though the vast majority of transportation projects around the country continue to be funded from traditional sources—taxes, fees, public debt and government subsidies—a new funding paradigm is rapidly emerging. State and local transportation agencies are increasingly looking to supplement these sources with private investment through public-private partnerships (PPPs). PPPs are just one “tool in the toolbox,” but this promising and valuable procurement option has been relatively untapped in Pennsylvania.
Opportunities for PPPs exist in Pennsylvania in many important facets of transportation, including constructing new highways, building new bridges, and competitive contracting for additional local and state road maintenance and operations. In fact, PPPs may offer a viable means of financing some of the state’s large-scale capital improvement projects that currently lack a funding source, or perhaps even deliver more value for the road maintenance dollar.
PPPs are never going to completely replace the traditional means of funding transportation, but they are a very promising method in which to augment traditional transportation revenue sources and provide more project delivery options and cost-savings to the Commonwealth.