Project TitleThe Impact of Accessing Public Credit Support on P3s
UniversityGeorge Mason University
Principal Investigator(s)Jonathan Gifford, PI, George Mason University
PI Contact Informationjgifford@gmu.edu
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)Federal Share — $64,838
Match — $73,121
Total Project Cost$137,959
Start and End Dates01/25/2019 — 05/25/2020
Brief Description of Research ProjectThe Impact of Accessing Public Credit Support on P3s project will measure the impact of credit support program application and approval processes on project delivery. Public Private Partnerships (P3s) often rely on the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) credit program, as well as state-level credit support programs, as part of their financial structure. On the one hand, TIFIA can provide invaluable credit support to a project because it charges low interest compared to other credit sources and is subordinate to other loans so long as a project is not in default. However, a protracted process for securing public credit support may adversely affect project delivery by delaying financial close.
We propose to study the effects of this process through desk research and a series of confidential interviews with public and private sector actors in the P3 industry. This interview data would focus on the impacts to the public sector and the concessionaire related to securing public credit support.
The research will commence in spring 2019 with desk research, preliminary interviews and the development and testing of a pilot interview protocol. Further interviews will be completed in year 2. Our objective is to secure the participation of a variety of interviewees who have experience accessing public credit support and managing public credit support programs.
This project’s potential for impact is considerable. TIFIA provides an invaluable resource to many P3 projects. The opportunity to understand its positive impacts and to explore opportunities to improve the TIFIA access process would provide informed recommendations to policymakers and concessionaires regarding the most efficient way to approach public credit support programs.