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Public funding in the Italian transport sector. A roadmap for policy-makers


  • Paolo Beria
  • Marco Ponti


Public money flowing in or out of the transport sector is one of the most powerful drivers of its evolution. The paper aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the revenue and expenditure of the Italian State and the local administrations for the Italian transport system. Based on the available resources, the paper quantifies the subsidies and the contracts to support investments, network maintenance and service delivery, as well as the value of the taxes generated. The analysis is completed by an historical background. The results indicate that road transport generates more in taxes than it receives in the form of free public roads (a net of over thirty-two billion euros per year). In contrast, the bus and rail systems receive subsidies valued at approximately thirteen billion euros per year, inclusive of new infrastructure. The other modes of transport benefit from relatively lower resources. The paper is completed by a discussion on the tools available for a more informed socio-economic assessment of this expenditure, by possible alternative scenarios of public expenditure and their effects on patronage and with some policy indications.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Beria & Marco Ponti, 2012. "Public funding in the Italian transport sector. A roadmap for policy-makers," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2012(3), pages 137-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:polipo:v:html10.3280/poli2012-003008

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    More about this item


    Trasporti; infrastrutture; ferrovia; trasporto pubblico; spesa pubblica; tasse; analisi costi-benefici;

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning


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