Careful on the port deal

My latest op-ed appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Wednesday. In it, I raise concern about the unsolicited proposal received from APM Terminals to take over the operations of the Port of Virginia. Information on the deal can be found here, although not any of the financial information. That is confidential and not available to the public.

Reading through the proposal, it was the graph above (click to enlarge) which caught my eye. This is, as the report states, a conservative estimate of what is to come for the port. That being the case, it seems to me that the port operations will, without the APM deal, free up money for transportation, although not right away.

Understanding how the transportation dollars flowed into the port operations required a look at the financial statements (pdf) of the Virginia Port Authority.

We are going to have to keep our eyes on this. The unsolicited proposal came under the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act, which leaves the decision to accept or reject in the hands of the governor, not the legislature, as Hampton Roads residents undoubtedly know in wake of the Portsmouth tunnel tolls.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Wednesdays (unless something comes up, in which case it’s Thursdays). You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.