Sound Transit Advisory

P3/ Financial Advisory Services

Sound Transit | United States | June 2017 - June 2022

42.7 million passengers, averaging 143,000 riders a week

US$54 billion Sound Transit 3 plan approved by voters in 2016

Key advisor on Capital Delivery Plan


  • Sound Transit needed help to evaluate the appropriateness of using the public-private partnership (P3) model to deliver new transit services.
  • Sound Transit is mandated to extend existing lines across its comprehensive range of transit services, including local bus, light rail transit, and regional train.
  • The first step was to establish a framework for evaluating and potentially implementing a P3 for selected Sound Transit capital projects.
  • Following this, determine how to oversee and assist in executing selected P3 projects to accelerate project delivery, reduce capital costs, minimize life-cycle costs, transfer risk, and optimize project outcomes.


  • Advise Sound Transit's senior leadership about the legal, technical, service, and financial considerations of extending existing light rail lines using various P3 delivery models.
  • Analyze and develop the conditions, incentives, and delivery models under which an extension would work and outline a phasing plan to maximize the success of the transition.
  • Assist Sound Transit staff in defining transit delivery objectives and structuring procurement documents so that future rail RFPs measure and quantify risk and deliver infrastructure to expectations.
  • Identify the value of maintenance and operating components in P3 contracts independent of the building and finance components to refine the future pipeline of projects to pursue.


  • Insights into optimal project and transaction governance
  • Understanding the legal and regulatory environment for P3 transactions
  • Value-for-money modelling and implications
  • Integrated land use and transportation planning
  • Balancing the needs of private and public stakeholders across the project region
  • Comprehensive business case analysis to evaluate strategic, financial, and deliverability considerations
  • Advise Sound Transit staff on private market engagement and ongoing relationship management

Project numbers

  • Sound Transit services carried a total of 42.7 million passengers in 2016
  • An average of 143,000 riders on weekdays in 2016
  • The new network would include 62 miles (100 km) of additional light rail
  • 37 new stations
  • The entire, 116-mile (187 km) light-rail system would carry an estimated 600,000 daily passengers

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