Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs. Topic 20-01. Legal Issues in Transit Mega Projects--Case Studies

Transit mega projects may sometimes seem overwhelming in scope and complexity to lawyers who have not previously worked on such issues. Such projects are often federally funded, and in such cases the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and other agencies provides valuable advice and requirements for managing the projects, including specific legal provisions to include in contracts and intergovernmental agreements. However, many other terms and considerations for transit mega projects have been developed through experience. Some requirements for mega projects are not warranted for less costly or less complicated projects, but can serve as best practices for projects of all sizes. Therefore, this study should be of value to all transit lawyers representing public transportation agencies of all sizes. For purposes of this study, mega project is a project with an estimated total cost of $1 billion or more, as described in 49 U.S. Code § 5327 (f). Mega projects also include any projects supported with a loan or loan guarantee from the Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA), regardless of project cost. The objective of this research is to produce a legal research digest that includes lessons learned from transit agencies, sample provisions from third party contracts and intergovernmental agreements to address legal issues, links to transactional documents, FTA guidance, instructive court or arbitration decisions, and other legal references. The guide should: Address lessons learned (successful and unsuccessful) from transit agencies that have overseen large and mega projects. Include resources and best practices on large and mega projects that transit lawyers can use and rely upon. Include the results of three to five case studies of large (FTA Capital Investment Grant-funded) transit projects with a focus on: Funding issues Environmental challenges Property acquisition and relocation Contracts Design Insurance Dispute resolution Intergovernmental coordination Each case study should address how problems were resolved. It is expected that the researcher will devote substantial time to finding projects that promise a wide variety of lessons learned. Also, the research should seek staff and lawyers of the transit agencies who have the ability and desire to cooperate in research and in-depth interviews.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $75000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-05, Topic 20-01

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Start Date: 20201214
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01744479
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-05, Topic 20-01
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2020 3:06PM