Assessment of public private partnership models for mass rail transit—an influence diagram approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - rail, land use - transit oriented development, mode - mass transit, organisation - regulation


Tang and Lo (Presented in the 12th International Conference of Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies, Hong Kong, 2007) outlines four alternative partnership models between the public sector, private railway company and property developer on provision of mass railway transit services. With nomenclatures following the pattern of BFOOD, denoting ‘Build’, ‘Fund’, ‘Own’, ‘Operate’ and ‘Develop Property’, and subscripts R (rail), G (government) or D (developer) indicating the responsible party, the four alternative models can be represented as BRFRORORDR/D, BRFGORORDG/R/D, BGFGOGORDG/D and BDFDOGORDD, showing the roles of the corresponding parties. In this study, the influence diagram approach is introduced as a means to assess and portray how the roles of different parties in building, funding and owning a mass railway transit may influence the accomplishment of financial, transportation and construction objectives of a project. Twelve questions are identified through influence diagrams to summarize the key issues that should be considered when making the ‘build’, ‘fund’ and ‘own’ decisions, and to serve as a platform to illustrate how likely a public private partnership model may eventually be successful. Furthermore, empirical applications of the approach to rail transit systems in Hong Kong and elsewhere show that influence diagram can be a useful tool to identify advantages and potential pitfalls of different public and private partnerships in meeting the objectives of the projects.


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