The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the cost of maintaining the nation's highways, transit systems and bridges at about $90 billion a year. With states and localities struggling to fund transportation projects, a new federal pilot project underway may point the way to an alternative solution. The Public-Private Partnership Pilot Program, or Penta-P, will examine the benefits of public-private partnerships in Denver, Houston and San Francisco. The Federal Transit Administration will work alongside these local and private partners to evaluate whether public-private partnerships can speed transportation projects, provide more reliable projections of costs and benefits, and improve performance. In addition to contributing some funding to the projects, the FTA will also explore different procurement methods, ways of lowering risk on projects, and how to streamline project development, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance. If the pilot is successful, federal officials will look into implementing public-private partnerships in a broader way. To learn more, click here.