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With state and federal transportation funding slow, Los Angeles Metro and Caltrans are embracing public-private partnerships to finance and accelerate planned infrastructure projects. In an interview with The Planning Report, Doug Failing, Metro’s Executive Director of Highway Programs, outlines their Accelerated Regional Transportation Improvement (ARTI) program, a series of small projects through which the county transit agency plans to demonstrate its viability and desirableness as a partner with private enterprise.
Failing outlines the specific focus of ARTI (including the FR 710 gap between the 10 and 210, the high desert corridor from LA to San Bernadino, and the 710 freight corridor), the benefits of P3 funding, and what Metro and Caltrans expect to learn about project delivery under a P3 system. The move illustrates the financial expression of a public agency's reputation and best practices. As Failing notes, "We recognized at Metro that we don’t have a track record with the industry for large projects and that we need to develop something smaller, work through the decision-making processes, and gain some confidence with the public-private sector that Metro is a good partner and that they want to work with us."