Transport infrastructure provision and operations: Why should governments choose private–public partnership?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - operating costs, mode - bus rapid transit, place - asia


Transport infrastructure, Public–Private Partnerships, Evaluation


Recent transport sector liberalisation, as well as global economic crisis, is favouring the implementation of transport infrastructure projects through Public–Private Partnerships (PPP). However, there is a debate as to whether PPP schemes are a better option than conventional procurement. To this end, an evaluation framework is proposed, to assess which of these two alternative schemes for transport projects financing is preferable for the public. The proposed framework is complimentary to the Value for Money (VfM) approach and is based on a Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA). The first step is the estimation of the Public Sector Comparator (PSC) for the case of conventional procurement, dealing with construction, maintenance and operation costs revenues, as well as any costs associated with risks undertaken by the public. As for the PPP case, it includes any payments by the public sector and related risks costs. The MCA is then applied only if the PPP is found preferable for the public sector. The latter considers additional impacts, including among others the social attributes of a particular scheme, job creation, environmental impacts and safety and security aspects. The proposed framework was applied to a pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor infrastructure project in the city of Indore, India, in order to demonstrate its validity. The framework and its application could provide useful guidance when considering PPP for a transport project, since it demonstrates in a transparent way the society's attitude towards this project, something that is critical to its acceptance.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Research in Transportation Economics Home Page: