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Public-Private Partnership (P3) Procurement: A Guide for Public Owners

March 2019
Table of Contents

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Publication No. FHWA-HIN-18-004

Sponsored by:

USDOT Build America Bureau Logo


Notice and Quality Assurance Statement


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products of manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document. The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Department of Transportation. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

Quality Assurance Statement

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) provides high quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. USDOT periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Form

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Public-Private Partnership (P3) Procurement: A Guide for Public Owners

5. Report Date

March 2019

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Nancy Smith, Patricia de la Peña, Edward Kussy (Nossaman LLP), Sonika Sethi (Leidos), Porter Wheeler, Jonathan Gifford (George Mason University), Shirley Ybarra

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

11251 Roger Bacon Dr.
Reston, VA 20190

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration
Office of Innovative Program Delivery
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The FHWA Task Order Contracting Officer's Representative (TOCOR) for this project was Patrick DeCorla-Souza.

16. Abstract

This Public-Private Partnership Procurement Guide (Guidebook) has been developed in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Build America Bureau, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to provide advanced guidance on procedures, issues, and considerations involved in public-private partnership (P3) procurement of surface transportation projects, in particular for highway and transit investments. This Guidebook is part of the P3 Toolkit that consists of P3 guidance documents and tools to assist in educating Federal, State, and local policy makers, legislative and executive staff, and transportation professionals.

17. Key Words

Public-Private Partnership, Procurement, highway investment, transit investment

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions.

19. Security Classification (of this report)


20. Security Classification (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)
Reproduction of completed page authorized.

List of Acronyms

ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADOT Arizona Department of Transportation
AFC Alternative Financial Concept
APM Automated People Mover
ATC Alternative Technical Concept
BAFO Best and Final Offer
BPPM Best Practices Procurement Manual
BPW Board of Public Works
BRT Bus Rapid Transit
BUILD Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development Transportation Discretionary Grants program
CCI Construction Cost Index
CDOT Colorado Department of Transportation
CE Categorical Exclusion
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CHPE Colorado High Performance Transit Enterprise
CIG Capital Investment Grants
COI Conflict of Interest
CONRAC Consolidated Rent-a-Car
DBB Design-bid-build
DB Design-build
DBE Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
DBF Design-build-finance
DBFM Design-build-finance-maintain
DBFOM Design-build-finance-operate-maintain
DBM Design-build-maintain
DEIS Draft Environmental Impact Statement
DOT Department of Transportation
EA/FONSI Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
EDMS Electronic Document Management System
EIS Environmental Impact Statement
EMI Electromagnetic Interface
ENR Engineering News Record
ESRC Evaluation and Selection Recommendation Committee
ESWA Early System Work Agreements
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation
FAST Act Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act
FASTER Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery Act
FDOT Florida Department of Transportation
FEE Functionality Evaluation Earthquake
FFGA Full Funding Grant Agreement
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FRA Federal Railroad Administration
FTA Federal Transit Administration
HASP Health and safety plan
HOT High-occupancy Toll
HOV High-occupancy Vehicle
HPTE High-Performance Transportation Enterprise
IFB Invitation for Bids
INFRA Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program)
ITP Instructions To Proposers
ITS Intelligent Transport System
LAX Los Angeles International Airport
LLC Limited Liability Company
LRV Light Rail Vehicle
MDOT Maryland Department of Transportation
MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act
MARC Maryland Area Regional Commuter
MPO Metropolitan Planning Organization
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NTE North Tarrant Express
NTTA North Texas Tollway Authority
OCI Organizational Conflict of Interest
OIPD Office of Innovative Program Delivery (FHWA)
OMPD Office of Major Project Development (CDOT)
ORT Open Road Toll
O&M Operation and Maintenance
P3 Public-private Partnership
PAB Private Activity Bond
PD Project Development (phase)
PDA Pre-development Agreement
PennDOT Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
PIPP Private Investment Project Procedures
PLTP Purple Line Transit Partners
POMT Port of Miami Tunnel
RFI Request For Information
RFP Request For Proposal
RFQ Request For Qualifications
ROD Record of Decision
ROW Right-of-way
RSA Revenue Service Availability
RRIF Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SBA Small Business Administration
SEE Safety Evaluation Earthquake
SEP Special Experimental Project
SHRP2 Second Strategic Highway Research Program
SOQ statement of Qualifications
SPE special Purpose Entity (also known as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV))
SSGA Small Starts Grant Agreement
STIP Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
SUE Subsurface Utility Engineering
SWaM Small, Minority, and Women-owned
TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program
TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
TIP Transportation Improvement Program
TIFIA Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
TxDOT Texas Department of Transportation
U.S.C. United States Code
U.S. DOT United States Department of Transportation
VDOT Virginia Department of Transportation
VfM Value for Money


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