Federal Grants to Leverage Public-Private Partnerships for Faster Project Delivery
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced this week a new grant program called the Pilot Program for Expedited Project Delivery.
The grant program was announced in a Notice Requesting Expressions of Interest.
The Pilot Program is aimed at expediting delivery of new transit capital projects that utilize public-private partnerships, are planned to be operated and maintained by employees of an existing public transportation provider, and have a federal share not exceeding 25 percent of the project capital cost. A maximum of eight projects can be awarded grants under the Pilot Program. To date, Congress has appropriated a total of $25 million for this program.
Both state and local authorities are invited to apply for the program.
Transit analyst Yonah Freemark took to social media to warn about the potential implications for the program, and about what the program signifies about the federal government's current interest in funding public transit projects.
This is an attempt by the Trump Admin to force local governments to turn their transit projects into private investment vehicles, whether or not they want to—even as Trump’s FTA is the primary cause of delays for projects, having put a pause on new grants. Terrible public policy. https://t.co/2Weubt32SC
— Yonah Freemark (@yfreemark) September 13, 2018
Freemark notes in this tweet that the FTA is withholding payments for projects promised by Congress and the president in the most recent omnibus spending bill, approved in March 2018.