IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Private toll roads: Competition under various ownership regimes


  • AndrÊ de Palma

    () (UniversitÊ de Cergy Pontoise, DÊpartment des Sciences Economiques, 33 Boulevard du Port, F-95011 Cergy-Pontoise, France Department of Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H4)

  • Robin Lindsey

    () (UniversitÊ de Cergy Pontoise, DÊpartment des Sciences Economiques, 33 Boulevard du Port, F-95011 Cergy-Pontoise, France Department of Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H4)


Interest is growing in private toll roads as an alternative to public free-access road infrastructure. Private toll roads have gained favour for various reasons, including a dearth of public funds for road construction and maintenance, increasing traffic congestion, and growing acceptance of the user-pay principle in general, and road pricing in particular. This paper focuses on allocative efficiency of private toll roads. The model features one origin and one destination linked by two parallel routes that can differ in capacity and free-flow travel time. Congestion takes the form of queueing. Prospective travellers decide whether to drive, and if so on which route and at what time. Three private ownership regimes are considered: (1) a private road on one route and free access on the other, (2) a private roads duopoly, and (3) a mixed duopoly with a private road competing with a public toll road. Private toll roads are generally found to enhance allocative efficiency (measured by social surplus) relative to free access. The efficiency gain is greater when both routes are tolled, tolls are varied over time to eliminate queueing, and when no private road has a dominant fraction of total capacity. Paradoxically, mixed duopoly can be less efficient than a private duopoly. Price leadership by a public toll road avoids this possibility, although leadership typically yields little additional efficiency gain.

Suggested Citation

  • AndrÊ de Palma & Robin Lindsey, 2000. "Private toll roads: Competition under various ownership regimes," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 34(1), pages 13-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:34:y:2000:i:1:p:13-35
    Note: Received: June 1998/Accepted: October 1998

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:34:y:2000:i:1:p:13-35. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.