- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A bipartisan legislative proposal would clear the way for public-private partnerships on transportation projects in Tennessee.

Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro said at a press conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday that the bill would allow state and local governments to enter into agreements with private vendors to build and operate light rail and roads to help alleviate traffic congestion.

Under the proposal, the private operators would pay for the projects and then collect the fees needed to cover their costs over a period of several years before returning them to the public sector.

In addition to Ketron, the measure is supported by Republican Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro of Nashville and Republican Rep. Charles Sargent of Franklin.

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