Innovative Transportation Finance and Equity 101
The US Government has historically facilitated public infrastructure development overseas by providing low-interest loans, loan guarantees, and favorable tax treatment for companies. Through our participation in multilateral banks, such as the World Bank, and helping to found and capitalize regional development banks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we have increased private sector investment in infrastructure in developing economies. These projects have a mixed history, and in some cases have had environmental and human rights impacts. Innovative Transportation Finance seeks to bring these tools home to the United States.
Our goal should be to make these financing mechanisms transparent and accountable and truly multimodal in the types of transportation projects chosen for financing support and/or funding.
The public interest should also be protected. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is to ensure that the board of any proposed infrastructure bank has community stakeholders represented. We could also encourage project applicants to include a community development financial institution, or other federally recognized community development stakeholder as a partner.
The attached presentation offers a perspective on the challenges that we face in ensuring that transit and transit oriented development can draw on support from innovative finance, in order to create strong, vibrant and equitable communities.