Ten Myths and Facts on Transportation Public-Private Partnerships

COST Commentary: Substantial misleading information has been promulgated regarding the use of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (PPP’s) in the US. This has led to significant misunderstandings by many elected officials and large segments of the general public as to the use of this tool to provide more effective transportation infrastructure to meet growing mobility needs.

The use of public-private partnerships (PPP’s) has been common in Europe’s major countries, Australia and, New Zealand for decades. These experienced contractors have led the implementation of early PPP’s in the U.S. As U.S. companies gain experience, they are expected to become lead contractors in many U.S. PPP’s.

This report is written specifically for Ohio but it’s content applies equally to Texas. It is important for all citizens to understand the facts regarding PPP’s so that this tool may be fully evaluated as an option and used as appropriate to supplement other transportation tools to implement more effective transportation infrastructure.

Below is the report’s opening page: ‘Why this report Matters to You.’ You can reach the full report by clicking on the title below.

Buckeye Institute & Reason Foundation Policy Brief

Ten Myths and Facts on Transportation Public-Private Partnerships

By Leonard Gilroy and Robert Poole, July 2012

Why This Report Matters to You

By Greg R. Lawson
Statehouse Liaison, Buckeye Institute

During the last two decades Ohio government has grown at an unsustainable rate.
General Revenue Fund (GRF) expenditures, for example, grew 41 percent over the
rate ofinflation between 1990 and 2009. This cannot continue if Ohio is to remain
economically competitive with a lean and efficient tax and regulatory structure
inviting to new business creation.

And as government grew, it took on numerous roles for which it is not well suited:
from running tollbooths and rest areas to managing parking garages and golf

Efficient and effective government should always be the goal, but in a time of tight
budgets even as the public demand for core services remains high, it makes little
sense to waste taxpayer dollars, or dig deeper into their pockets, when services can
be better performed by the private sector.

This is the first in an anticipated series of reports outlining areas where “public-
private partnerships” (PPPS) are a potential tool for more effective and efficient
government lf Ohio is to explore this type of reform a great many myths and
misconceptions must be cleared away so that taxpayers and policymakers alike
have a clear understanding of the nature and structure of these partnerships.
Such partnerships must be designed to leverage Ohio’s wide array of assets in ways
that maximizes the benefit to each taxpayer and focuses government on core

Not every conceivable partnership will be wise or appropriate, but shutting the door
prematurely to such options deprives the state of the flexibility it needs to navigate
an era of austerity and greater demands for accountability.

A basic understanding ofthis issue will allow Dbioans to betterjudge future policy
debates in a fair and intelligent way.


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