Privatization in Transportation Financing

by Wilbur S. Smith, Wilbur Smith Associates, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering and Business: Converting Engineers to Businessmen


Since early in this century, financing for transportation has involved both private and public funds. For highways, monies provided by public or government agencies have come largely from user taxes, especially taxes on motor fuels. The system has worked well, but the taxes have not been increased at sufficient rates to meet extremely rapid escalations in needs. Now, other sources are being sought to supplement funds produced by user taxes, although it must be recognized that the overwhelming preponderance of funding (especially for highways) will continue to come from such taxes. Privatization must be considered a supplement to proven transportation funding sources, not a replacement.

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