tED Magazine Quotes Susan Lent on Opportunities in Transit Facilities

tED Magazine conducted a Q&A with Akin Gump partner Susan Lent, head of the firm’s infrastructure and transportation practice, to discuss the nation’s aging transit facilities and the potential opportunities for electrical distributors.

In assessing the transit facilities market in the next three to five years, Lent said that, despite the support by many members of Congress for spending more money on infrastructure improvements, “it remains to be seen whether they can coalesce around an approach to raising the necessary revenues.” In recent years, she said, “Because the federal gas tax has not raised enough revenue to support current spending levels, Congress has authorized general fund/deficit spending for transportation.” Any increase in spending, she pointed out, will require leaders to make “some bold decisions on raising revenues.”

With the Trump administration proposing to fund many different types of infrastructure, Lent said there is a concern that the funding “will be spread around and there will be less of a focus on transit facilities.”

For electrical distributors looking to work with transit facilities, Lent suggested spending time “to really understand the opportunities” and to learn whether a project will be rated as a good federal investment. She also advised that understanding “where a project is in the review and funding process and understanding the local politics are critical to determining whether a project is a good business opportunity.”