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Are Public-Private Partnerships Driving Modernization?

Ten years ago, public-private partnerships created the first bikeshare program.  Other cities were soon to follow, leading the way for local governments to embrace business partnerships, proving that it could be grounds for collaborative infrastructure projects.  Before, the market was considered slow and fragmented.  Some say after connecting the public and private sector, infrastructure deals are much more likely.

However, critics say there are risks with the entry of private companies into basic government services, such as insufficient government oversight, bad contracts, and companies cutting corners in order to turn a profit.  At the same time, some of the most important accomplishments in US infrastructure development were due to the work of public-private partnerships, like the Erie Canal and the Transcontinental Railroad.  These relationships, if well managed, could allow neglected infrastructure or new projects to have shorter timelines and increased success.

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