WASHINGTON – The Federal Transit Administration has issued final rules that will encourage public-private partnerships and other private sector involvement in transit projects.

The Private Investment Project Procedures (PIPP) rules, which will take effect on June 29 of this year, will help the federal government develop more effective approaches to spur private participation and investment in project planning, development, finance, design, construction, maintenance and operations, the FTA said.

K. Jane Williams, Acting Administration of the Federal Transit Administration
K. Jane Williams, Acting Administration of the Federal Transit Administration

“This Final Rule allows the public transportation industry to identify where there may be barriers to developing projects in concert with capable private partners,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “FTA is committed to encouraging innovation and streamlining project delivery while protecting the public interest.”

Under the rules, those who win grants for certain capital transit projects will be able to identify rules, practices, procedures or guidance that impedes the use of a P3 or private investment. They can then ask the FTA administration to grant a waiver or modification of a requirement if certain criteria are met.

These rules, however, cannot be used to waive any requirement under the National Environmental Policy Act or other federal statute.

Eligible projects are those that are either proposed or under construction in State Transportation Improvement Programs and that will test an innovative project delivery technique prohibited by current FTA regulations or policies.

If an application for a waiver or modification of a requirement is approved, FTA will negotiate an Early Development Agreement (EDA) with the project sponsor to establish the parameters of the approved application. The EDA will identify the specific roles of all parties, define procedures, and establish timeframes and other conditions under which the project will be administered.

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