Georgia– The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) system expansion plan will include more light-rail expansion. A revised proposal now includes more rail as well as leaning on other sources of funding beyond public funds. The new plan aims to build a zigzag of light rail through the city from Greenbriar, along parts of the BeltLine, to the Emory/Centers for Disease Control area.
The new plan also adds more rail in southeast Atlanta and on the west side and has the so-called “Clifton Corridor” line up to Emory. This is contingent on its supporters finding more money, which opens the door for a public-private partnership (P3), to see the project to fruition. Completion of the full 22-mile loop is slated to cost $11 billion, a number that is not even close to being covered by Atlanta’s 40-year half-penny sales tax worth only $2.5 billion. The next official step is a vote by the MARTA board scheduled for Oct. 4.
Hawaii– The board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is nearing a decision on whether to pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to complete and then maintain the city’s 20-mile rail line. Faced with financial and construction setbacks, the city is now debating whether or not to bring in a private firm to mitigate the projected financial overrun of completion and maintenance/operations of the rail line.
In 2012 the city promised completion of the rail line for $5.63 billion by 2019, yet costs have now ballooned to nearly $9 billion and the date of completion has been pushed to 2025. The project has faced delays that have resulted in $745 million dollars of Federal funding being withheld until a feasible plan to resolve the current state of the project is implemented. Further complicating the project is an ongoing $1.4 billion P3 contract for operations and maintenance that the city awarded to a metropolitan train company that could extend until 2021. With every year of delays adding $100 million to the cost of the rail line, a P3 to finish the remaining 8 miles of track is becoming a more feasible solution.
Washington State- The city of Mercer Island is offering incentives for a private developer to build a mixed-use residential development and public parking garage. The city will provide $2 million and the land for the development. The project is located across the street from a light rail station that is scheduled to open in 2023. The three-quarter acre development site at the intersection of Sunset Highway Southeast and 80th Avenue Southeast includes the city-owned property and a former coffee house.
The city plans to rezone the property to allow a five-story development with ground-floor restaurant and retail space. Request for qualifications (RFQ) for this public-private partnership (P3) are due Oct. 5, with city tours of the site set for Sept. 11 and 20. Attendance is mandatory for anyone who plans to submit an RFQ.
Missouri– The Port Authority of Kansas City (Port KC) Board of Commissioners approved the selection of a private firm to be the lead partner on a public-private partnership (P3) project. The firm will advise Port KC staff in the formation of a successful P3 to develop the Missouri River Terminal (MRT). This is the latest step in Port KC’s plan to transform 415 acres of land along the Missouri River, which is the site of a former steel mill, into a full-scale inland intermodal port.
The Port KC has determined the P3 model provides the greatest potential to create an intermodal inland port and sought to obtain expert services from the project’s inception. Port KC anticipates the next step will be to seek a financial adviser and begin the pre-procurement process with the selected firm’s assistance.