"Maryland will seek a private company to build and operate a planned $2.2 billion light-rail Purple Line, marking the first time the state has used such financing on a public transit project," reports John Wagner. "With the Purple Line, Maryland is seeking a single private partner to design, construct, operate and maintain the project. In return, the state plans to offer annual payments throughout a 30- to 40-year contract period. Deductions would be made from the payments if the operator falls short on standards such as on-time performance, cleanliness and customer service, according to transportation officials."
"Maryland officials are counting on the federal government to cover about $900 million of the project’s construction cost and will look for contributions from local governments and the private sector as well, said Erin Henson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation. Construction could begin as early as 2015."
"Maryland and other states increasingly are turning to public-private partnerships to create more flexibility in financing and construction of large-scale projects at a time when government resources are limited," adds Wagner.