Virginia DOT begins public-private partnership to maintain state rest areas

To defray operating and maintenance costs associated with rest areas and welcome centers in the state, the Virginia Department of Transportation recently announced that it has entered into a public-private partnership with CHR Catering to increase revenues. The partnership is part of the state’s Sponsorship, Advertising and Vending Enhancement program, or SAVE.
CRH will pay VDOT guaranteed right fees of $2 million annually, up from the $1.7 million the state is currently receiving from vending and advertising in rest areas. The contract is for three years and will generate an estimated $1 million in new revenues for the department. Land Line reports that CRH will be partnering with several companies to provide ATM services and other “traveler-focused marketing” options.
According to a report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the presence of convenient and safe rest areas results in a 3.7% decrease in accidents and fatalities caused by driver fatigue and illegally stopped vehicles on highway shoulders. In tight budgetary times, more states may look to public-private partnerships to maintain them.