The politics of delivering light rail transit projects through public-private partnerships in Spain: A case study approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - tram/light rail, place - europe, place - urban, organisation - governance, organisation - privatisation, organisation - performance, planning - integration, planning - route design, infrastructure


Light rail transit, Public-private partnerships, Politics, Infrastructure


This paper illustrates the influence of partisan politics on transit projects delivered through public-private partnerships (PPPs) by analyzing two case studies of light rail projects in Spain. The use of public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements to deliver urban transit projects is supposed to reduce the influence of politics on project-level decisions. However, the paper illustrates how relevant decisions about these light rail projects were based primarily on political considerations, starting with the decision the deliver the projects through PPPs. Our analysis shows how the influence of political considerations have impacted on a range of factors that affect the performance of these projects, including the route selected and the integration of the system into the wider transit network and urban landscape.


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


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