Competition in the Transportation Industry

by Dayle M. Clark, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; The Univ. of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Tex.,
James J. Schwarzwalder, Transportation Engr.; Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Philadelphia, Pa.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 489-505

Document Type: Journal Paper


There are proposals currently under consideration to deregulate the transportation industry. This paper examines the basic economic structure of several modes of transportation in an attempt to forecast how successful competition is likely to be as a regulator of price and service to the public. The conclusions are that where the market is close to the economists classical free market as in trucking, competition is likely to be reliable, but where oligarchy or monopoly will exist, as in rail transport, competition will be unreliable. The common carrier concept has served this country well in the past and should not be discarded without careful study of the consequences.

Subject Headings: Competition | Rail transportation | Industries | Economic factors | Forecasting | Pricing | Public buildings | Public services

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