The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is writing a new rule aimed at encouraging more private sector investment in public transportation projects.
U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on Monday that would allow public transit projects to streamline some steps in the regulatory or permit-approval process if they prove that it will attract more private investors.
Speeding up the project approval process has been a top priority for the Trump administration and is expected to be included in the president’s $1 trillion infrastructure package. The White House has said that the effort will help spur more public-private partnerships.
Under the new proposed system, public transportation projects could request a waiver or modification to FTA “regulations, practices, procedures or guidance documents” if the applicant proves that the steps are discouraging private sector involvement. However, the system could not be used to skirt any National Environmental Policy Act requirements or any other provision of federal statute.
The FTA is accepting public comments on the proposal until Sept. 29.
Source: The Hill