Public-Private Partnership Anticipated for Amtrak Gateway Program

Similar to high-speed rail projects throughout the nation, Amtrak will be looking to the private sector to help pay a portion of the expected $20 billion tab to build two new tunnels under the Hudson River and expand New York's Penn Station.
December 6, 2015, 11am PST | Irvin Dawid
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The project "certainly seems to lend itself to some aspect of public-private partnership involvement, particularly in station development," said Drew Galloway, Amtrak's deputy chief of Northeast Corridor Planning and Performance, about the plan known as Gateway Programwrite Hilary Russ and Edward Krudy for Reuters.

Private financing would be especially suited to the expansion and revamp of New York's Penn Station, but could also help fund tunnel construction itself, said Galloway

The Gateway Development Corporation, which will be housed within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be in charge of the project. Amtrak and the U.S. Department of Transportation will pay half the cost, and New York and New Jersey will pay the other half.

The Port Authority is already using public-private partnerships for a $4 billion LaGuardia Airport upgrade and a $1.5 billion revamp of (the Goethals Bridge) linking Staten Island to New Jersey.

According to the Reuters' graphic, the Gateway Program would be the third "largest in the United States using a combination of private and public money" after California high-speed rail and California's Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

Private funding is possible when there is a revenue component to the project, such as toll roads and bridges. "A surcharge on commuter tickets, tolls for freight traffic or facility maintenance payments are possible ways for private sector players to earn back their investments, analysts said," add Russ and Krudy

In other rail projects, private funds are expected to foot most, if not all of the cost of the:

Full Story:
Published on Monday, November 30, 2015 in Reuters
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