Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail


Procurement, Maryland Transit Administration, Light rail transit, Incentives, Design build construction, Contracting, Baltimore Central Light Rail Line


The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) Turnkey Demonstration Program, as mandated by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, is required to select a number of prototype projects for comparison of turnkey to traditional procurement methods. The Baltimore Central Light Rail Line (CLRL) Phase 2 Extensions project is one of four prototype projects currently selected for comparison. In 1992, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) started service on Phase 1 of the CLRL project--a 36.2-km-long system with 25 station stops, procured under the traditional method (that is, design/bid/build). The CLRL Phase 2 Extensions project, procured under the turnkey method, completed the 48.3-km plan with three extensions to the original 36.2 km. FTA has requested an evaluation of the effectiveness of the turnkey procurement method in advancing the design, construction, testing, start-up, and initial operation of the CLRL Phase 2 Extensions project. This evaluation effort focuses on the procurement phase of the project. As part of this evaluation, the contractual differences between the conventional contracting method used in Phase 2 and the design/build, or turnkey, contracting mechanisms and incentives that were used in Phase 2 Extensions project are discussed. The focus of this discussion is on the comparative differences of the specific contracting mechanisms and incentives used by MTA in the procurement phase of the two comparable projects, CLRL Phases 1 and 2. This discussion also examines the effectiveness of the procurement approach implemented by MTA as compared with other turnkey contracts.