Use public-private partnerships selectively to build transportation infrastructure

    OTTAWA, Oct. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can be
a cost-effective tool for building and managing transportation infrastructure,
but governments must be selective in deciding which projects are best
developed as PPPs, the Conference Board concludes in a new study that examines
both successful and failed transportation infrastructure projects.
    "In some quarters, PPPs are viewed as the only way to build and maintain
transportation infrastructure, while others are opposed to any and all forms
of PPPs," said Mario Iacobacci, the Conference Board's Director of Research
and Director, Centre for Infrastructure. "Neither view is accurate. The merits
of PPPs need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis."
    PPPs are long-term contractual arrangements whereby a public sector
entity procures the design, construction, and ongoing operation and/or
maintenance of an asset, usually from a consortium of private sector firms
which finances the project.
    The publication, Steering a Tricky Course: Effective Public-Private
Partnerships for the Provision of Transportation Infrastructure and Services
examined the Confederation Bridge fixed link as an example of a successful
PPP. It also looked at three London Underground PPPs-worth more than (pnds
stlg)15 billion over 30 years-that exhibited serious deficiencies. As well,
the Montreal metro extension to Laval was studied as an example of project
that was not a PPP, but one that could have benefited from the due diligence
that private financing usually provides.
    This report, which is publicly available at, is
published as part of the Conference Board's Cancompete research project.
Cancompete is a three-year program of research and dialogue designed to help
leading decision makers advance Canada on a path of national competitiveness.

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, The Conference
Board of Canada, (613) 526-3090 ext. 448,

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