Can Private Equity Save The Dulles Rail?
Or maybe a better question is should private equity take over?
Several private equity investors such as Carlyle Group are reviewing proposals to partner with Virginia for a rail line to Dulles International Airport as hope fades that the federal government will help fund the 23-mile Metrorail extension.
"It does have the characteristics of a project that we would like to be involved with," said Robert W. Dove, co-head of the Carlyle Infrastructure Fund. He noted that his fund, with assets exceeding $1 billion, looks for such public works as highways, bridges and tunnels in which to invest.
The attraction for Carlyle is the steady revenue from tolls, he said. One possible scenario would be a long-term lease arrangement in which Carlyle owned both the toll road and the rail line, with Metro still in charge of the transit operation.
"Metro would run it, but someone would make a payment to us for making it available every day," he said.
Private purchase of the rail line or the Dulles Toll Road to fund the extension would attract strong opposition from those who believe such public infrastructure is far too valuable to hand over to for-profit corporations. But with the outlook for keeping the rail project alive bleak, regional business and political leaders who are adamant that the rail line must not die are increasingly of the mind that private partnership must be considered.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: "Fed" Up | January 28, 2008 11:58 AM
Posted by: AC | January 28, 2008 1:37 PM
Posted by: UncleLongHair | January 28, 2008 5:26 PM
Posted by: Restart From Scratch | January 28, 2008 9:32 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.