Inquirer reporter Paul Nussbaum details a plan today by a private firm that the city passed on a couple years ago to provide trolley service along the Delaware River waterfront. The proposed public-private venture was a bit cheaper than the current $500 million project recently proposed by the Delaware River Port Authority. The public-private plan also was projected to have been built a year sooner than the current proposal.
At $430 million, the earlier plan doesn't seem that much cheaper than the current one. It's unclear what the benefit of having the private operators in on the deal. A better solution maybe to put the project out to bid and see how the market reacts. Or if there is a market or need for such a system.
Going forward, there's not a lot of faith in DRPA to see the project through in an efficient way. The agency already has enough problems trying to manage its bridges and bloated debt - of which it plans to take on millions more. The bottom line for either plan is that the price seems pretty steep for such limited usage.