Public-private partnerships one path to transportation improvements
A blend of private and public financing could be the the most effective way to pay for badly needed transportation projects in Michigan, an editorial in the Detroit Free Press says.
The editorial notes that the Michigan Department of Transportation has identified several projects that won't be completed without private funds. Among those are the planned Ann Arbor-to-Detroit rail line.
The editorial says the public-private partnerships are not the same as privatization. A bill sponsored by state Rep. Lee Gonzales, D-Flint Township, would pay for projects through tolls and private investment while still maintaining state ownership of the projects.
"Before approving the bill, legislators should consult with groups like Public Interest Research Group in Michigan to ensure it includes adequate public protections," the editorial says. "... With sufficient protections in place, public-private agreements, already operating in 25 states, provide an excellent way for Michigan to finance sorely needed transportation projects in tough times."