Who's the DINO Now

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After a legislative hearing on public-private partnerships last month, the Governor reportedly tee’d off on one of the hearing chairs:

Patrick….suggested that Baddour’s [the hearing chair] preference for privatizing roads and bridges suggested Republican leanings, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Now comes news that the Mass Turnpike is indeed planning to put the turnpike service plazas out for a long-term lease.

We are pleased to see the Administration’s new-found openness to the concept and hope they have had a chance to read our analysis of PPPs and case studies on their usage in Massachusetts.

Given the Governor’s control of the Turnpike, this is doubtless being done with his blessing. However, with no comprehensive transportation reform plan out publicly and a new Transportation Secretary in his second day on the job, one hopes that this is a thoughtful piece of a larger puzzle and not a tactical move borne out of toll-avoidant desperation.