A private highway
is a highway
owned and operated for profit by private
industry . Private highways are common in Asia and Europe; in addition, a
few have been built in the United States on an experimental basis.
highways are built by companies that charge tolls for a period of
time while the debt is retired, after which the highway is turned
over to government control. This allows governments to fulfill
immediate transportation needs despite their own budget
constraints, while still retaining public ownership of the roads in
the long term.
An obstacle to private highways is that government regulation can
stifle price flexibility and introduce negotiation and paperwork
requirements that increase operational expenses. In addition,
private highways lack some advantages that governments have, such
as sovereign immunity
liability for accidents and the ability to issue tax-exempt securities
Free market roads
are advocated by
, who consider them more
efficient and safer than public roads.
The Interstate Highway
provided for in the Federal Aid Highway Act
federally-funded, non-toll system. According to Simon Hakim and
Edwin Blackstone, "by 1989, [private] roads comprised just of the
3.8 million miles of streets and roads in the United States and
only out of the of the interstate system."
The National Center
for Policy Analysis
and the Cato
have proposed that the Demsetz auctions
commonly used to award
franchises be replaced with Present Value of Revenues
in order to reduce risk and thus required rates of return
highway owners. Under this system, contractors would bid an amount
equal to the present value of cash flows from user fees they are
willing to accept for the project. The lowest bid would win.
Boarnet and DiMento believe that private highways will become more
important as the rise of gasoline-efficient hybrids
decline in gas tax revenues.
Many highways are constructed under a "build-operate-transfer
" model in
which ownership ultimately goes to the government.
Private highways around the world
2003, the Hong
Kong government was planning to securitize five toll tunnels and a toll bridge
through bond issues.
According to Captain Japan, the
is the city's only
private highway. It is not funded with tolls, but rather with rent
from three floors of businesses directly beneath the highway. India
also has a private highway
between the two
cities of Bangalore and Mysore in the state of Karnataka.
Mexico has some highways operated by private companies. The 108km
Highway 407 ETR
through the Greater Toronto Area
privately under a 99-year lease agreement with the provincial
government. The highway uses electronic toll collection
who do not have a toll tag (called a transponder
) in their
vehicle are tracked by automatic number plate
, with the toll bill being mailed to the address of
the plate on file. There are also some private highways in the
France is planning a private project to build of double-decked
tunnel to close a gap in the beltway around Paris. 3,120 kilometers of
Italy's highways (comprising 56% of the country's toll
roads) are controlled by Autostrade Concessioni e Costruzioni
According to Forbes
"Autostrade was an early Electronic Age entry, computerizing to its
highway system in 1988". The M6 Toll was the
first private toll motorway in the United Kingdom.
The project was described by
urbantransport-technology.com as a "27 mile [43 km] dual three lane
(plus hard shoulder), £485.5 million motorway" with six toll
- Hakin, Simon & Blackstone, Edwin (August 1, 1999). Making inroads in private highway construction.
American City & County. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
- Free to Choose, Milton Friedman
- National Center for Policy Analysis (January 17, 2003. New Auctions Could Improve Private Highway Franchises.
Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
- Stanek, Steve (February 1, 2005). California Law Provides Lessons for Private
Transportation. Budget & Tax News.
- Hong Kong Plans Massive Privatization | National
Center for Policy Analysis
- Rumbling above, Bubbling below: Tokyo's Only Private
- PRIVATE HIGHWAY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES TEMPORARILY
REDUCE TOLLS TO ATTRACT CARGO TRUCKS | SourceMex Economic News
& Analysis on Mexico | Find Articles at BNET.com
- U.S. Trails Europe In Developing Private Roads |
National Center for Policy Analysis
- Heller, Richard: The Fast Lane, Forbes, April 15, 2002.
- Judge Orders Discovery of Secret BNRR Deal,
Alliance Against the Birmingham Northern Relief Road.
- Birmingham Northern Relief Road, United