Improving Transportation Infrastructure Through Public-Private Partnerships

We are excited to be able to offer a groundbreaking survey of U.S. transportation officials on Public-Private Partnerships, which is an option to help finance the repair and rebuilding of transportation infrastructure in the United States. Today, this research is as vital as ever. As a nation, the United States continues to face serious challenges as our infrastructure deteriorates. In order to remain globally competitive, we must improve our roads, bridges and tunnels across the country. However, the amount of money available for this construction and maintenance is not sufficient – even the money allocated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is only a short-term partial fix, as it is barely enough to maintain the infrastructure that we have today. It is just a fraction of the funding necessary for long-term construction and maintenance.

As a result, it is critical that decision makers consider all methods of financing for transportation infrastructure. What is valuable about public-private partnerships is that its use as an infrastructure financing mechanism remains strong regardless of economic crises. Our research shows that opportunities for public-private partnerships continue to grow: 71% of state and local public officials find public-private partnerships to be just as or more attractive now than before the economic crisis. We believe that transportation officials are the key to understanding the public-private partnerships market in the United States. Our research, therefore, focuses on them, providing a portrait of their opinions and concerns on transportation infrastructure financing options.

Public-private partnerships are highly politicized and complicated, but we found that those using them have a high opinion of it. In fact, every one of our survey respondents with experience approve of public-private partnerships. This demonstrates the relevance of our survey results – that public-private partnerships truly can serve as a successful financing option for transportation infrastructure.

 

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