Tennessee enacts Public-Private Partnership statute in quest to solve growing traffic problems

Source: Zachary D. Jones, Mondaq, May 12, 2016

Thanks to newly enacted legislation signed into law late last month, Tennessee may be one step closer to solving a critical problem facing residents and officials in Middle Tennessee: How to solve Nashville’s growing traffic congestion. … Nashville’s Metro Transit Authority has been studying the issue for years and recently released several options being considered. Those options range in price from an estimated $5.4 billion down to $800 million. And those options all look at solving the problem with mass transit. While most all public officials and their consultants agree mass transit is the best way to solve the growing traffic problem, they also agree funding that solution is likely to be the biggest challenge. … The new law authorizes agencies to pursue public-private partnerships (referred to as “Public-Private Initiatives” under the act) for mass transit and other related projects. The law was first introduced in January 2016, was signed into law by Gov. Haslam in late April, and becomes effective October 1, 2016. Once implemented, the law will allow the private sector to participate in the development of mass transit projects and, hopefully, provide a creative solution which avoids asking the tax payers to foot the bill through tax revenues. Under the new law, agencies can either solicit competitive bids or proposals for a project or even receive and consider unsolicited proposals for certain transportation related projects. In the event an unsolicited proposal is received, the public entity will be required to take several steps, including advertising for competitive proposals for the same project. …


Middle Tennessee Lawmakers Say The Answer To ​Traffic​ Congestion May Be Private Businesses
Source: Chas Sisk, Nashville Public Radio, February 3, 2016

A group of Democratic and Republican legislators have filed a measure, Senate Bill 2093, that they say would let state and local governments create “public-private partnerships” with business consortiums. … The Public-Private Transportation Act would lay out how a partnership between a private company and government could work, and it would give partnerships the power to borrow, purchase right of way and collect fees. …