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Public Private Partnership for Puerto Rico’s Ferry Services

By on February 26, 2016

SAN JUAN — A request for qualifications & proposals (RFQP) process has been initiated by the Puerto Rico government to put the commonwealth’s ferry services under a public private partnership (PPP), La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana announced Friday.   

Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza and La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana

Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza and La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana

Following the RFQP process, the commonwealth government expects to tap a private entity to operate and maintain maritime transportation services in the metro area, as well as in the island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, under a contract that could last from five to 10 years, government officials explained. The new operator would also be in charge of a maintenance base located in the San Juan Bay.

Santana, who is also the executive director of the Public Private Partnerships Authority, said the project aims to increase the efficiency of these transportation services, while improving quality of service.

“The main objectives…are to ensure the quality and reliability of service for users, and achieve efficiencies in the operation of the service by using and capitalizing on the experience and expertise offered by the private sector in this industry, among other benefits expected to be obtained,” Santana said.

She added that revenue may be increased through the development and implementation of complementary services, which in turn generate economic activity and business opportunities for local companies.

“No less important is to ensure certainty in the costs of operation and maintenance of government service,” Santana noted.

In addition to its day-to-day operations, the private entity would be responsible for routine and preventive maintenance of the boats and terminals, and would be subject to minimum standards of operation and maintenance imposed by the government. The Transportation & Public Works Department and the Maritime Transportation Authority are expected to oversee the contractor, according to government officials.

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