New Study Warns Against Privatizing Roads
A growing number of states are considering arrangements in which a private operator provides an up-front payoff or builds a new road in return for decades of escalating toll receipts. The report assesses these deals and identifies a number of problems, including:
· Private toll roads typically require greater toll hikes to generate the same upfront payment that could be generated without privation.
· Private deals lead to serious loss of public control that hinders future transportation planning and typically force public payments to compensate private companies if policies reduce toll traffic.
· Deals are often conducted with inadequate public disclosure or input.
· States generally lack the capacity to oversee or enforce private road agreements
· Problems are compounded by the fact that contracts typically extend 50-plus years in order to obtain large federal tax subsidies.
The study examines 15 completed private road projects and 79 others that are proposed or underway.
Thanks to Phineas Baxandall