PRICING AND INVESTMENT IN TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES

The principal problem confronting Congress as it develops a public program is to ensure that the program does not treat the sympotoms of inept pricing of existing facilities and the inappropriate economic organization of private industry that uses the public facilities. These conditions give rise to a political demand for excessive investment to deal with peak loads. Two principal examples are presented as illustration: airports and the building of roads. The pricing of runways and the allocation of runway space are discussed. To resolve the problems, a change should be made in the allocating runways. There is no reason why airports should be in the public sector of the economy. The "decartelization of the airline industry (by abolition of the Civil Aeronautics Board) would make it a competitive one which would reflect the varying user charges at varying hours of the day in differential fares. These changes would render the existing supply of airports adequate for several future decades and inhibit the proliferation of redundant airports (as in the case of Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.). Several points are made with regard to the building of roads (especially freeways in urban areas and rail transit facilities in major cities), and the effort to review the transit industry. The pricing of roads, and the queuing on radial freeways and other radial routes in rush hours as a result of the nonprice rationing of roads are discussed. A consequence of the present organization of transit is that the industry is overly capital intensive. Capital grants are an incentive to build rail systems in major cities. A consequence of the Urban Mass Transportation Assistance Program is that it creates a demand for preservation of the Highway Trust Fund. Federal policy should be directed toward an effort to develop institutional arrangements for variable user charge on roads.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 45-50
  • Monograph Title: TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMMING PROCESS
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127492
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 10 1981 12:00AM