The Puerto Rico government and a Goldman Sachs/Abertis joint venture called Metropistas have closed on a 40 year toll concession project for PR22 and PR5. The tollroads which currently generate about $90m/year will be expanded and modernized by the venture which has paid the state an upfront fee of $1,136m.
Puerto Rico's toll roads are moving by stages to almost cashless tolling. This July 29 coin machines were removed from two of the island state's tollroads (PR52 and PR53) in a toll system upgrade that began last November. This was Phase 1 of a project to progressively improve the efficiency of toll collection on all the tollroads.
A Goldman Sachs, Abertis joint venture has been chosen with a bid of $1.08 billion by the state government of Puerto Rico as the preferred operator to run the PR22/PR5 toll road combo under a 40 year concesssion. New York based Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners II (GS) will have 55% equity and Barcelona Spain based Abertis 45%. Abertis will be the operator.
David Alvarez head of the new Puerto Rico Public Private Partnerships Authority (PPPA) says they're excited to have tollroads in their first privatization.
Puerto Rico's Public Private Partnerships Authority has hired Macquarie Capital to assist them developing a P3 program. Carlos M Garcia, chairman of the authority is quoted in the announcement as saying that private investment is needed to improve the island territory's infrastructure in high priority areas.
Mary Peters call at a recent IBTTA industry conference for "making toll booths obsolete" got attention from ACT the Puerto Rico state toll authority. A senior ACT official told us this morning the authority's decision to study cashless or all-electronic tolling was prompted by Peters' remarks.
The government of Puerto Rico has a major public-private partnership (P3) procurement under way for the island state's major toll road - PR22 - but investors are asking what it is: a real toll concession or just a longterm operations contract?
The Puerto Rico toll authority ACT (in its Spanish initials) says in a court filling in San Juan PR that United Toll Systems (UTS) is offering a cash toll system that stands to save them at least $20m/year in theft of revenues.
"None of the other proposals... put an end to this chilling depletion of public funds," the ACT says in a filing with the state Court of Appeals to deny a TransCore motion to quash the contract award to UTS and transfer it to TransCore.
TransCore has filed a motion in the court of appeals in San Juan calling for a freeze on the award of a contract for cash toll systems upgrades and seven years of operations by the Puerto Rico toll authority ACT to rival UTS. They called the procedures followed by ACT, the PR toll authority - cancellation of the competitive procurement followed soon after by the announcement of a negotiated contract with UTS - "the most shameless way of justifying the unjustifiable."
United Toll Systems (UTS) has been awarded the big toll systems upgrade and 7-year operations contract by the Puerto Rico state toll authority Autoridad de Carreteras Y Transportacion (ACT) amid great controversy. UTS's bid was the high one in competition with InTrans, the established supplier and operator of cash and toll plaza systems and TransCore the electronic tolling vendor and operator of the local brand AutoExpreso.