FAIRFIELD — Local transportation officials will explore whether the private sector might someday help pay to improve and maintain such local facilities as the Fairfield Transportation Center and Suisun-Fairfield train station.
Among the factors to be considered is what the transportation facilities can offer to the private sector in return, such as advertising rights.
The Solano Transportation Authority in November 2012 hired KPMG consultants to explore whether public/private partnerships would be possible for six transportation facilities. The firm is just beginning its work and on Wednesday made an introductory presentation to public works officials from the county and its seven cities.
Five of the six transportation facilities already exist and are targeted for expansion. They are the Fairfield Transportation Center, the Vacaville Transportation Center, the Dixon Multimodal Transportation Center, the Curtola Parkway and Lemon Street Transit Center in Vallejo and the Suisun-Fairfield train station. The facility that remains to be built is the proposed Fairfield-Vacaville train station targeted for a site near Peabody and Vanden roads.
Public/private partnerships have been used to build transportation facilities in other parts of California. An example is the Route 91 toll road in Orange County that was built and operated by a private firm and is publicly owned, a Solano Transportation Authority report said.
Michael Cowen of KPMG gave an example from Chicago, though he said the scale is bigger there. Chicago has a 99-year contract giving Morgan Stanley the rights for parking, advertising and retail at four parking garages. Morgan Stanley must maintain the garages and rebuild them over time. In return, Chicago got $563 million upfront.
Fairfield wants to build another parking structure and add 1,000 parking spaces to its Transportation Center near Beck Avenue at a cost of $25 million. Once it builds the additions, it will have to maintain them.
Possible alternative revenues and private sector deals might involve solar facilities, parking fees, transit-orientated development and advertising, according to a chart from KPMG.
But Fairfield Public Works Director George Hicks gave the consultants a caution about the parking fees idea. Fairfield has looked at initiating parking fees before. A concern is that more people would park in the nearby parking lots for stores, he said.
Suisun City wants to make such improvements at its downtown Suisun-Fairfield train station as adding signs and security cameras, renovating the plaza and improving seating. The cost is an estimated $220,000.
KPMG could look at such possibilities as parking fees, transit-orientated development and advertising.
Susiun City Building and Public Works Director Dan Kasperson asked whether the city could say no to a business it didn’t want advertising at the station, such as a massage parlor. KPMG officials said the city could address such concerns.
KPMG is to finish the feasibility study by June, doing such things as gauging market interest.
Possible advantages of public/private partnerships include building major infrastructure that otherwise might be unaffordable, building projects more quickly and taking advantage of private-sector innovation, according to a Solano Transportation Authority report.
The Solano Transportation Authority hired KPMG consultants for up to $150,000 to do the feasibility report.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.