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Pennsylvania's Public-Private Partnership board yesterday approved an initiative to support transit-oriented development at an Amtrak station in Middletown, Pa.Through the project, a private developer would design, build, finance, operate and maintain commercially viable facilities on state-owned parcels near the station while maintaining or expanding station parking, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) officials said in a press release. The developer also would be responsible for maintenance at the train station, such as snow removal.In spring 2016, PennDOT plans to request statements of qualifications from the private sector demonstrating ability to partner on the project.The department will invite the most qualified candidates to submit proposals for the project once the requirements are finalized, PennDOT officials said. "Having spent the vast majority of my career working in the private sector, I know there are many partnership opportunities with government that can benefit both sides," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.Signed into law in September 2012, the state's Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act allows PennDOT and other transportation authorities and commissions to partner with private companies to participate in delivering, maintaining and financing transportation-related projects.As part of the law, the seven-member Public Private Transportation Partnership Board was appointed to examine and approve potential public-private initiatives.If the board determines a state operation or project would be more cost-effectively administered or delivered by a private company, the department or appropriate transportation agency can advertise a competitive request for proposals and enter into a contract with a company to completely or partially carry out the work, according to PennDOT.
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