The Case for Private Management of Roads and a Canadian Example


The Privatization of Roads and Highways-Human and Economic Factors (496 page pdf, Walter Block, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009)

Also discussed here:

(You-Tube, 97 min video, Jan. 26. 2009)

And here:  407 ETR

With over 42 pages of references, libertarian Walter Block presents arguments for the privatization of all roads and highways, after analyzing and dismissing many of the counter arguments to his proposition that claim that continued public ownership is too big and serves the public interest too well to throw it away. Block’s analysis of road pricing and tolls, in particular, is worth careful study even if you do not share his opinion which in essence depends on the free market and the ability of those adversely affected to sure the private owner for damages – whether it be loss of life or air pollution impacts on health.

Supporting his vision (but not noted in the book) is one of the first successful electronic road pricing projects in North America- highway 407, tendered for lease at $3 B and since 2001 privately owned and operated (principal owners: Cintra Infraestructuras S.A and the Canada Pension Plan) that provides a quicker trip of 108 km (65 miles approx)  across the top of  the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) using transponders and remote cameras capable of identifying license plates for those who lack transponders. Many of the issues Block discusses about highway safety and the difficulties public road management would has seem to have been overcome though private ownership.

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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