Georgia seeks proposals for transit center

The state has now issued a request for proposals for the Multi-Modal Passenger terminal in Atlanta, the second Georgia PPP to come to market this year.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has released a request for proposals for its second major public-private partnership, a railway and bus terminal to be built in downtown Atlanta.

The department said in a statement that it is looking for a private partner to assist with planning, development, design, construction, financing and property management of the facility, the Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal or MMPT.

The MMPT will connect local and regional bus and rail networks and will also serve as the hub for the region’s proposed high-speed rail service. It will also serve as a “catalyst for revitalization of a significant portion of downtown Atlanta,” according to the project’s website. 

Georgia is looking to find a master developer who will help choose the site for the terminal, determine what facilities are built for it and finance its construction. The state also hopes to attract retail commercial and residential projects to the terminal by giving the master developer the right to pursue such projects under the public-private partnership (PPP).

There are still “many variables” which prevent the state from giving a cost estimate for the MMPT, according to the project website. But the project does have more than $60 million in federal earmarks that can potentially be used for its development.

The project is the second of three PPPs the Georgia Department of Transportation began procuring this year.  The department issued a request for proposals for the West by Northwest highway project in February and was hoping to select a winning bidder in early 2011 but has slowed down the schedule for the $2.3 billion project to address comments and questions from the three shortlisted bidders.

“We’re not letting [the] schedule drive the project, we’re letting the project drive the schedule,” Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Vance Smith said on the sidelines of last month's Infrastructure Investor: Chicago forum.

In August, the department also opened a request for qualifications for improvements to be made to 17 rest stops and nine welcome centres along five of the state’s highways.

The department aims to select a private partner for MMPT by 1 May, 2011, according to the statement.  Shortlisted proposers will be notified on 21 January, 2011.