House issues P3-friendly transport bill

The US House of Representatives has introduced a new P3-friendly $325bn bill as a bi-partisan long-term solution for funding the country's transportation needs.

Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, confirmed the introduction of the proposals, which is to be known as the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015.

The 543-page STRR authorizes funding for six fiscal years to 2021 and sets aside roughly $270bn for highway and safety programs and $55bn for transit programs.

But chiefly for the industry is the bill's support for the use of P3s within the plans. STRR would see the establishment of the National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau, which will be tasked with promoting best practices and solutions for the use of the P3 model.

The announcement comes just days before the expiration of the latest extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which expires on October 29. The Senate's proposed Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act was also issued earlier this year in June.

Many in the industry are keen for a long-term solution to the country's transportation needs, with constant stalling by both legislative houses thought to be hindering growth of the P3 market and the wider country.

To view the full bill, click here.