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The president and CEO of transportation giant Bombardier has publicly questioned the value of public-private partnerships (P3s).

Speaking at a conference in California, Pierre Beaudoin said corporations aren’t always the best choice to finance transit infrastructure projects.

He pointed to the difference in public and private borrowing rates, and highlighted the ongoing impact of the financial crisis on private financing. 

Beaudoin’s caution is rooted in reality. In 2007, Bombardier lost $164 million in the collapse of a P3 to maintain and expand the London subway system.

The privatized tube project has been labeled a “spectacular failure” and
an ill-conceived disaster.”

London taxpayers are now facing service cuts and upgrade delays to pay for the privatization fiasco.