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How To Franchise Highways


Author Info

  • Fielding, Gordon J.
  • Klein, Daniel B.


Barcelona commuters receive a monthly highway bill, without ever having stopped at a tollbooth. Cars on the Autostrada, which connects Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples, whiz past roadside electronic readers that automatically deduct credit from prepaid smartcards which are similar to the copycards familiar to library users. Electronic toll collection is now used on the Esterel-Cote d'Azur; two toll-ring systems in Norway; the Dallas North Tollway; the Oklahoma Turnpikes; and two facilities in New Orleans. Reliability and accuracy rates run as high as 99.9 per cent. Unless there is successful labour resistance, by the year 2000 electronic toll collection will be operating on every major toll facility in the United States. Stopping at tollbooths will be obsolete for all but the infrequent traveller. The advance in technology is accompanied by a shift in policy. The franchising of highway services is now under way: California has four projects in progress; Virginia, one project; and planning is in hand in many other states. Furthermore, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 will bring a tide of new projects, as it permits the commingling of federal and private funds. Different approaches to franchising have been used. This article investigates the alternatives and proposes a plan for highway franchising.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt79z9x6fs.

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Date of creation: 01 May 1993
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt79z9x6fs

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Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;


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  1. Oi, Walter Y, 1971. "A Disneyland Dilemma: Two-Part Tariffs for a Mickey Mouse Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 77-96, February.
  2. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Victor P. Goldberg, 1976. "Regulation and Administered Contracts," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 426-448, Autumn.
  4. Zupan, Mark A, 1989. "The Efficacy of Franchise Bidding Schemes in the Case of Cable Television: Some Systematic Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 401-56, October.
  5. Klein, Daniel B., 1990. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods? The Turnpike Companies of Early America," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2587p3z1, University of California Transportation Center.
  6. Thomas W. Hazlett, 1986. "Competition Vs. Franchise Monopoly In Cable Television," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 4(2), pages 80-97, 04.
  7. Demsetz, Harold, 1971. "On the Regulation of Industry: A Reply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 356-63, March-Apr.
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Cited by:
  1. David Levinson & Peter Rafferty, 2004. "Delayer Pays Principle: Examining Congestion Pricing with Compensation," Working Papers 200407, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  2. Albert, Gila & Mahalel, David, 2006. "Congestion tolls and parking fees: A comparison of the potential effect on travel behavior," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 496-502, November.
  3. Levinson, David, 1997. "Case Study: Road Pricing In Practice," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt0w06s4n2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
  4. Lo, H. & Hickman, M. & Walstad, M., 1996. "An Evaluation Taxonomy For Congestion Pricing," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt80g5s1km, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
  5. David Levinson, 2001. "Road Pricing in Practice," Working Papers 199903, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  6. David Levinson, 2005. "Paying for the Fixed Costs of Roads," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 39(3), pages 279-294, September.
  7. Chu, Xuehao & Fielding, Gordon J., 1994. "Electronic Road Pricing in Southern California: Policy Obstacles to Congestion Pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt30m5z5xd, University of California Transportation Center.
  8. David Levinson, 2007. "Network Neutrality: Lessons from Transportation," Working Papers 200902, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  9. Andrew Bernard & Márcio Gomes Pinto Garcia, 1997. "Public and private provision of infrastructure and economic development," Textos para discussão 375, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).


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