Can you work fast and cheap? Contact FTA

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Federal Transit Administrator K. Jane Williams.

The Federal Transit Administration is looking for transit agencies to participate in its “Pilot Program for Expedited Project Delivery,” which is “is aimed at faster delivery of new transit capital projects that by law must utilize public-private partnerships, be operated and maintained by employees of an existing public transportation provider, and have a federal share not exceeding 25% of the project cost.”

FTA is now accepting expressions of interest from transit project sponsors for the Pilot Program, which is authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. This program also supports the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) “commitment to follow the President’s One Federal Decision framework to cut red tape and deliver infrastructure projects and safety improvements more quickly, spurring economic growth.”

FTA said it “intends to work with selected project sponsors to further define the steps that must be completed before a construction grant can be awarded under the Pilot Program. FTA is particularly interested in working with project sponsors who are considering value-capture techniques* as part of their project financing.”

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is Nov. 13, 2018.

“Expediting transportation projects is a key part of meeting our nation’s infrastructure needs,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.  “This Pilot Program’s streamlined federal review provides an excellent opportunity for transit providers to demonstrate accelerated project delivery, and innovative financing arrangements, in order to speed up transit improvements for the public.”

*Editor’s Note: Another example of euphemistic language: What exactly is a “value-capture technique”? Wikipedia defines value capture as “a type of public financing that recovers some or all of the value that public infrastructure generates for private landowners.” Given that the Pilot Program’s requirements include “a federal share not exceeding 25% of the project cost,” it would seem that value capture techniques are those that will not require the federal government to invest major funding in public transportation.

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