The CTA has received an “overwhelmingly enthusiastic” response to its overtures to private sector investors to partner on expansion projects at the far south and north ends of the Red Line, CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a Tribune story.
According to the Tribune article:
“Claypool said the CTA was not interested in privatizing the operation of the Red Line or selling it off to the private sector. Instead, any deals would involve a public-private partnership to design, build, finance and maintain the rail line, but CTA employees still would run the trains, he said. In return, the venture partners would assume part of the financial risk of building two complicated projects and receive “a small potential share” of profit.”
Claypool pointed to a $454 million contract that the CTA signed last year with Cubic Transportation Systems to design a new fare-payment system as a solid model for future CTA public-private partnerships.
Well folks, it should be interesting to see how this unfolds. With federal money shrinking, it makes sense to start exploring other funding opportunities. And I like the Cubic model, where the CTA gets out from under the expense of providing fare medium while earning some decent bucks to let another company do it. Pure genius.