Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Alternative Transportation Finance

Innovative ways to fund and finance transportation projects

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT's Alternative Transportation Finance Program

Vision

MnDOT’s Innovative Finance Program will support the department’s overall vision to be a global leader in transportation, committed to upholding public needs and collaboration with internal and external partners to create a safe, efficient and sustainable multi-modal transportation system for the future. The ATF Program will further the department’s desire to continuously identify transportation funding and financing options and fully utilize a wide array of alternative financing approaches in an accountable, transparent and fiscally responsible manner.

MnDOT will work with transportation partners and the public to explore, identify, develop, and implement financing approaches that enable access to non-traditional sources of funds and new financial approaches that provide a safe and efficient transportation system to the citizens of Minnesota.

  • Explore and assess in a collaborative manner new or non-traditional approaches to generate additional transportation revenue, maximize existing revenue streams, enhance cost saving strategies and leverage financial resources
  • Establish a framework for identifying potential ATF projects
  • Evaluate the results of new approaches tested
  • Integrate ATF concepts into MnDOT’s planning, programming and investment processes

Experience

One of the first ATF approaches attempted in Minnesota was the TranSmart Highway 212 toll road project in the mid 1990’s. Although TranSmart was unsuccessful, MnDOT has successfully used several other ATF techniques and tools on projects since then:

Next Steps

Some of the key activities MnDOT will continue to focus on in the coming months include education, outreach and communication. MnDOT will continue to meet with a wide variety of groups, organizations and individuals, hold workshops and seminars, and develop communication materials and tools.

MnDOT will also be continuing its exploration of ATF concepts, approaches, tools and techniques that might hold promise for accelerating transportation improvements within the state. Currently, the department is exploring new revenue generating concepts like MnPASS HOT lane/shoulder expansion, private contribution P3 opportunities and value capture strategies. We are also looking at new financing techniques like TIFIA, private financing P3 procurement models, and Transportation Revolving Loan Fund (TRLF) enhancements. In addition, we are exploring some new fund management techniques and emerging opportunities in the areas of transit oriented development and joint development, as well as intermodal and freight facility fee concepts.