Well-designed public-private partnerships bring economies of scale, efficient design and operations, and innovative technologies that deliver cost savings over decades, not just in the near term. Seattle expects to save $70 million over 25 years on its partnership-financed Tolt Water Treatment Facility.
These partnerships can build in long-term performance. In many cases, if the private partner doesn’t meet performance standards, it doesn’t get paid. The private consortium rebuilding 558 Pennsylvania bridges in three years instead of the state’s 15-year timeline must ensure that the bridges are up to code; if not, the private partner must pay to fix them, not the government. With publicly delivered projects, if something needs to be fixed, the taxpayer pays.