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We can do a better job leveraging public investment for infrastructure development, coalition says

When it comes to funding infrastructure, we can do a better job leveraging our scarce public resources, says the Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC).

Yesterday, the coalition released what it refers to as its "official policy" on PPPs' role in the future of the U.S. freight infrastructure network.

"There are many forms of PPPs and ways for the public and private sectors to collaborate as partners to leverage and supplement scarce public resources while protecting and promoting the public interest," said PB-Consult Inc. President and CAGTC Chair Mortimer Downey, who co-authored the report.

But the coalition cautions against "unduly restrictive policies and regulations," which ultimately could constrain infrastructure development. Instead, CAGTC recommends 10 guidelines to help policymakers craft PPPs that "leverage public dollars while ensuring a quantifiable public benefit." (For more information, check out CAGTC's Web site:

"Transportation planners at the federal, state and local levels should have access to the largest possible toolbox of financing mechanisms, strategies and options," said CAGTC Rail Committee Chairman and report co-author Ray Chambers. "However, officials must remember that PPPs should not be viewed as a replacement for traditional public funding approaches."

CAGTC comprises more than 40 organizations dedicated to increasing federal investment in intermodal freight infrastructure. The group's mission? To promote a "seamlesss goods movement transportation system across all modes to enhance capacity and economic growth."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/8/2007