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Background and Definitions 9 Whenever a commuter rail project is considered, a freight line may be in the mix where the owner will have to share the line with temporal separation or track separation. This circumstance makes coordination with the railroad company owning the freight line extremely important. The importance of reaching agreements with the railroad company and clarifying the details of the work and the responsibilities of the various parties cannot be overemphasized. The railroad com- pany usually wants to do the track work with its own forces on a cost-reimbursable basis, and this puts all the risk on the owner. This also increases the constructor's risk because its work may be impacted by the railroad. This makes early involvement of the construction contractor very important to project success. Also, the railroad company tends to do the work at its own pace while considering project milestones; as a general rule, the agency does not enjoy the same degree of control that it exerts over the constructor with the railroad company. Another distinguishing characteristic of transit projects is that typically they incorporate fea- tures that are unusual in an engineering project, and thus transit projects may require the involve- ment of professionals from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design, as well as engineering. The integration of "vertical" construction features (e.g., parking structures and transit stations) with "horizontal" construction features (e.g., track beds, bridges, and road- way elements) creates a need for a comprehensive set of design and construction services that is not normally found in transportation projects. Additionally, transit agencies' need to integrate their facilities with other transportation modes demands another comprehensive set of design and construction service providers and requires a more flexible approach to design and construction than is required by single-mode transportation projects. These characteristics of transit projects drive the need for a "toolbox" of project delivery methods that permits a transit agency to select the appropriate project delivery "tool" based on the technical demands of a given project. Transit projects are not usually money makers (unlike some toll roads in the highway sector). Therefore, it is difficult to generate interest in potential public-private partnerships. Financial institutions, which are sometimes interested in supporting toll road and bridge projects, are usu- ally not interested in transit investment, although that may change in the future. Finally, federal support for transit projects, often crucial to bringing the project into being, depends on specific steps that are not similar to other transportation projects. The Federal Tran- sit Administration (FTA) plays an important role in this process. Various transit agencies com- pete for federal dollars by preparing specific reports to the FTA. Depending on the rating that a project receives, it may be permitted to move to the next development stage. The owner agency must meet certain requirements to advance from project planning to final design and finally to construction. If, during various phases of project development and as project scope becomes more accurate, the rating of the project falls below the required threshold, there is a possibility that the project may be discontinued. The burden is on the owner agency to ensure that the proj- ect remains viable and meets federal requirements. Evolution of Current Alternative Delivery Methods in Transit Projects Public procurement law has historically limited public agencies to using DBB construction project delivery only. The current wide range of project delivery methods is a relatively recent development for publicly funded transit projects in the United States. The development of the public procurement laws limiting public agencies to use of the DBB project delivery method can be traced in part to the Brooks Act. Enacted in 1972, the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582) states that design services on federally funded projects in the United States should be procured on the basis of qualifications only. Alternatively, numerous laws and statutes throughout the