Maryland Department of Transportation's Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking private sector input on best practices and innovative approaches to delivering and financing the Maryland National Capital Purple Line and the Baltimore Red Line.
The RFI was issued within days of Maryland’s new Public-Private Partnerships (P3) legislation being signed into law by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. The law, which was championed by Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, allows Maryland to attract private investment in public infrastructure by creating a strong, predictable and transparent framework for future public-private partnership projects, while protecting public assets and ensuring a strong workforce.
“With this new P3 law and the passage of the 2013 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act that will generate $4.4 billion for transportation in the first six years alone, Maryland is ready to put Marylanders back to work and to create a balanced transportation network we can enjoy today and our children and grandchildren will benefit from for years to come,” said Gov. O’Malley.
The RFI will help the state move these key transit projects forward by helping MTA frame the financing, construction and operation plans of the state’s next generation of transit. MTA is looking at traditional project delivery methods in which the agency separately contracts for engineering, construction and rail cars and then operates the line with its own employees. Above and beyond this traditional project delivery approach, MTA is exploring methods that combine some or all of these steps in a manner that could result in savings of time and money, as well as ensure high-quality service into the future. A contractor also could partly finance the construction cost through a public-private partnership, taking advantage of the P3 law.
The state is targeting 2015 as a construction start date for the Purple Line and the Red Line with the goal of having the light-rail lines completed and open for revenue service after 2020. Together, the lines will add 40 additional stations to Maryland’s rail transit network, addressing congestion, transit connectivity and economic development. MTA estimates that more than 7,000 jobs could be supported during the construction phase of the projects. Responses to the RFI are due by May 8, 2013.