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|1. Report No.
|2. Government Accession No.||3. Recipient's Catalog No.|
|4. Title and
Concept Design for an Online Information Source for Major Surface Transportation Projects: A Discussion Paper
|5. Report Date
|6. Performing Organization
Susan Binder, Benjamin Perez, Jagannath Mallela, and Suriyanarayanan Sadasivam
|8. Performing Organization
Organization Name And Address
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
One Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10119
|10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)|
|11. Contract or Grant No.
Agency Name and Address
United States Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Innovative Program Delivery
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|13. Type of Report and Period
Discussion Paper: August 2016 - June 2017
|14. Sponsoring Agency Code|
|15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative: Patrick DeCorla-Souza, FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery
This discussion paper explores the issues associated with compiling information on major surface transportation projects in a publicly accessible online information source or database to assist in establishing benchmarks on projects delivered conventionally and through Public-Private Partnerships (P3s). Information on projects delivered conventionally and through P3s for operating transportation facilities and those in various phases of development could also provide a resource for practitioners seeking to develop or implement similar projects.
|17. Key Words
Public private partnerships, toll roads, concession arrangements, tax analysis, competitive neutrality adjustment, value for money
|18. Distribution Statement
|19. Security Classif. (of
|20. Security Classif. (of this page)
|21. No. of Pages
|Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)
Reproduction of completed page authorized
Title IX of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 directs the National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau (renamed the Build America Bureau by USDOT) establish procurement benchmarks to ensure accountable expenditure of federal assistance over the life cycle of projects. To the maximum extent possible, these benchmarks should:
The FAST Act also calls for the Bureau to work in coordination with the modal administrations, including the Federal Highway Administration, to collect project specific information and make it available on a publicly accessible Internet website.
This discussion paper explores the issues that would need to be considered to prepare a publicly accessible online information source or database that could be used to help establish benchmarks on major surface transportation projects delivered conventionally and through Public-Private Partnerships (P3s).
The interest in establishing an on-line repository of project procurement data reflects increasing interest in using public-private partnership (P3) concessions to implement and operate large and complex surface transportation improvements. The potential benefits and limitations of using the P3 concession approach are widely cited. However, little information is available to corroborate these claims. Data on the features and outcomes of P3 and non-P3 procurements could provide the basis for analyses that could shed light on both their strengths and weaknesses. Thus, a secondary purpose of the information source might be to provide a basis for substantiated conclusions about the appropriateness of different procurement strategies in constructing and operating transportation infrastructure under different conditions. Information on projects already implemented or in various phases of development could also provide a resource for practitioners seeking to develop or implement similar projects.
Potential data and information to be included in the information source were considered in terms of two tiers. Tier 1 would provide basic descriptive and outcome-related project data and would be populated to the greatest extent possible with information that has already been captured in existing data sets assembled by FHWA and other industry stakeholders. The Tier 1 information would be of interest to the primary target audience for the information source, namely state departments of transportation (DOTs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and local transportation agencies that use or are contemplating the use of P3 project delivery.
The Tier 2 data would support more advanced research and analysis and would involve the collection of data that is not captured in existing repositories. This discussion paper identifies:
The paper also identifies:
As part of a vetting process, the discussion paper was reviewed by technical experts in academia, government and industry. FHWA also convened a daylong round table session attended by industry P3 experts, internal staff and the consulting team that prepared the discussion paper. The round table participants focused on the importance of the tradeoffs between the scale and depth of the information source, its utility, and the level of effort needed to establish and maintain it. While the information source could provide a first step in understanding project outcomes, the participants agreed that it would be most useful in informing higher-level public policy decisions on the use of different project delivery options.
The roundtable participants suggested the information source should initially focus on compiling the Tier 1 information. Although this information largely exists, it resides in disparate locations including the FHWA Office of Infrastructure's Major Projects Database, the FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support website, and other FHWA and industry data sets. In order to confirm the availability of the information and evaluate the level of effort to collect and verify it, it was suggested that FHWA would benefit from conducting a pilot to collect Tier 1 level information for a small number of projects. This proof of concept effort would allow a better understanding of what information is available, and the extent of data gaps and consistency issues. A key task in such a pilot data collection effort would be to review as many candidate information sources as possible. It is expected that there will be inconsistences from one data source to another. The pilot data collection effort could identify inconsistencies and develop strategies to verify information accuracy.
It was also suggested that FHWA and the Bureau could start the process by assembling information from FHWA's existing data on major projects. Once compiled, that information could be shared with state departments of transportation (DOTs) that do not have much experience with P3s. FHWA and the Bureau could then solicit their feedback on the value of the data to them. This would allow FHWA and the Bureau to gain an understanding of what such states would seek to learn when they are assessing project delivery options for major projects. While there are common issues in assessing project delivery options, there are always situations that are unique to individual state DOT policies, procedures and management direction. In many instances, procurement decisions cannot be informed fully by reviewing historical data, but also need an assessment of the specific issues involved. Working with the data already captured in the FHWA major project database would provide an opportunity to understand what type of information would be most helpful to state DOTs as they consider procurement options.
Given that roundtable participants suggested a focus on Tier 1 information as a start, Chapter 3 of the discussion paper identifies the candidate Tier 1 data metrics, together with the anticipated sources of that information. A description of the Tier 2 information has been retained in Appendix B of the discussion paper for potential use by other researchers.
Should a decision be made to begin efforts to put the information source in place, it is suggested that the efforts would benefit from oversight from a committee of thought leaders in the P3 and transportation policy arenas. It would be strategic to seek participation in such a committee from states that have recently passed P3 enabling legislation but that do not yet have hands-on P3 experience, together with representatives from larger MPOs. These organizations would benefit from the information source as they consider new funding and financing options and make policy decisions guiding their strategic transportation plans.
|AADT||Annual Average Daily Traffic|
|ATC||Alternative Technical Concepts|
|CM/GC||Construction Manager/General Contractor|
|CVS||Comma Separated Values|
|DBE||Disadvantaged Business Enterprise|
|DEIS||Draft Environmental Impact Statement|
|DOT||Department of Transportation|
|EIS||Environmental Impact Statement|
|EMMA||Electronic Municipal Market Access|
|FAST Act||Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act|
|FASTLANE||Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies|
|FEIS||Final Environmental Impact Statement|
|FHWA||Federal Highway Administration|
|GIS||Geographic Information System|
|HPMS||Highway Performance Monitoring System|
|HTML||Hyper Text Markup Language|
|ITS||Intelligent Transportation System|
|MP&R||Maintenance Preservation and Renewal|
|MSRB||Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board|
|NBI||National Bridge Inventory|
|NCSL||National Conference of State Legislatures|
|NHS||National Highway System|
|O&M||Operations and Maintenance|
|PAB||Private Activity Bond|
|Portable Document Format|
|PLA||Project Labor Agreement|
|RFI||Request for Information|
|RFP||Request for Proposals|
|RFQ||Request for Qualifications|
|RRIF||Railroad Rehabilitation & improvement Financing|
|TIFIA||Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act|
|USDOT||United States Department of Transportation|
|VfM||Value for Money|
|VMT||Vehicle Miles Traveled|
|WAI||Web Accessibility Initiative|