On May 1, Metro will host an industry forum for potential concession partners to discuss public-private partnerships that could be used to help build the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project. The forum, to be held at Union Station, is a chance for invited officials from the development, investment, finance and construction industries to meet with Metro and learn more about the project.
Several potential concepts have been studied previously for this corridor, including bus rapid transit, light rail and managed lanes. One scenario involved building a tunnel or tunnels that would carry tolled lanes for motor vehicles and a transit facility. See this earlier Source post that includes a chart on the different concepts.
Very preliminary estimates indicate that the tunnel scenario could cost at least $6 billion, and likely more, depending upon the length of the tunnel. Measure R is scheduled to provide about $1 billion for the Sepulveda Pass Corridor, and under Metro’s long-range plan this money would not be available until 2030 with the project not completed until 2039. If Metro waits until the 2030s, when the Measure R funding becomes available, it will probably be too little, too late to build a project that could really make a difference for commuters.
Therefore, to accelerate much-needed additional capacity in the Corridor, Metro is investigating a public-private partnership, in which a consortium of private firms would design, build, finance, operate and maintain a project. Because of the significant investment required to build a project, the facilities would be privately operated so that the concession could generate sufficient revenue to repay their investment.
The forum on May 1 is an opportunity for interested parties to discuss the project and financing concepts with Metro. Attendance is expected to be high, with partipants coming from across the United States and the world.