Policy Issues in U.S. Transportation Public-Private Partnerships: Lessons from Australia

You are here

Policy Issues in U.S. Transportation Public-Private Partnerships: Lessons from Australia


In this report, the authors examine Australia’s experience with transportation public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the lessons that experience holds for the use of PPPs in the United States. Australia now has decades of experience in PPP use in transportation, and has used the approach to deliver billions of dollars in project value. Although this report explores a range of issues, the authors focus on four policy issues that have been salient in the United States: (1) how the risks inherent in PPP contracts should be distributed across public and private sector partners; (2) when and how to use non-compete (or compensation) clauses in PPP contracts; (3) how concerns about monopoly power are best addressed; and (4) the role and importance of concession length.

The study examines those and other questions by surveying the relevant literature on PPP international use. The authors also interviewed 23 Australian PPP experts from the academic, public and private sectors, and distilled lessons from those interviews.



David Czerwinski, Mineta Transportation Institute Research Assistant, is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Decision Sciences at San José State University. His research involves the application of techniques from operations research and statistics to problems in the private and public sectors. Aside from surface transportation, areas of particular interest are airline safety, health care quality, and drug safety surveillance.


R. Richard Geddes is an associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. In addition to his teaching and research at Cornell, Dr. Geddes served as a commissioner on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which submitted its report to Congress in January 2008. He is also a research associate for the Mineta Transportation Institute. In 2009 he served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar studying transportation public–private partnerships in Australia. He has held positions as a senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers, a visiting faculty fellow at Yale Law School, and a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1991, and his bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Towson State University in 1984.

July 2010
Highway construction
Public private partnerships
Fares and tolls



Contact Us

SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: mineta-institute@sjsu.edu