The concepts of industrial organization are used to relate the characteristics of market structure and conduct in urban transportation to poor market performance. Particular emphasis is placed on price-cost distortions-a source of market failure. The performance of the urban transportation market is described, and the chief market imperfections are identified. These imperfections include: price cost distortions, economic regulations, labor work rules and collective bargaining, ineffectual transit management and marketing, and government programs which benefit private transportation. The reasons for advocating pricing of roads on a more economic basis are set forth. In addition to making it possible for the Transportation System Management program to perform at all levels that are consistent with its potential, better road pricing has other advantages: the costs of travel are made more explicit; gives a wider range of choice; prices are flexible; provides revenue, provides information on the value people place on types of services and on system charges. Anomalies in pricing urban transportation services are discussed.

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    • This paper appeared in Transportation Research Board Special Report No. 181, Urban Transportation Economics. It contains proceedings of Five Workshops on Pricing Alternatives, Economic Regulations, Labor Issues, Marketing, and Government Financing Responsibilities held by Transportation Research Board. Sponsored by Office of the Secretary, Federal Highway Administration, and Urban Mass Transportation Administration of DOT; Environmental Protection Agency; and Federal Energy Administration. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
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  • Authors:
    • Hedges, Charles A
  • Publication Date: 1978

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  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 10-13
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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00176475
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 14 1981 12:00AM