The Road to Renewal: Private Investment in the U.S. Transportation Infrastructure

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9780844743462: The Road to Renewal: Private Investment in the U.S. Transportation Infrastructure
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Despite record levels of government spending, America's transportation system is plagued by traffic congestion, decaying infrastructure, and politicization of transportation funding-leading to calamities such as the 2007 collapse an interstate highway bridge over the Mississippi River and political fiascos like Alaska's infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." In The Road to Renewal, R. Richard Geddes surveys the current state of U.S. ground transportation and finds that, like the roads themselves, transportation policy is in desperate need of repair. A shift toward increased use of public-private partnerships (PPPs)-contractual agreements that allow private participation in the design, construction, operation, and delivery of transportation facilities-could significantly improve the quality of U.S. roadways.

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About the Author:

R. Richard Geddes is associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He recently served as a commissioner on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.

Review:

This is the best and most insightful book yet on the role that private investment can and should play in transportation infrastructure. It addresses common concerns and misconceptions about public-private partnerships, using sound economic thinking and empirical data, a combination that is hard to beat. (Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Policy, Reason Foundation)

Dr. Geddes' book, The Road to Renewal: Private Investment in U.S. Transportation Infrastructure, provides the best, most comprehensive resource to date about how we can attract private investment to help meet U.S. infrastructure needs. At this critical time, when traditional public sources of revenue are insufficient and unsustainable, this book is a must-read for those of us who seek to provide funding for America's transportation system now and into the future. (Mary Peters, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation)

Richard Geddes' book is a compelling argument for a new approach to road financing in America. It makes a powerful case for road service providers to charge directly for road use in the same way telephone or electricity or airline companies charge customers directly for use of their service. Road-use charges should be varied according to the scarcity of road space, the vehicle type, and costs imposed. Geddes argues persuasively that investment in infrastructure will be better directed and roads better managed with prices providing a direct link between road managers and motorists as customers. Our present system of funding through gasoline and diesel fuel taxes is fundamentally flawed, Geddes argues. He recommends road funding and management through toll collecting public private partnerships as a way to give America the top-quality, responsive, and well-funded road transportation system it needs. The book is timely given the public disgust with 'porkbarrel roads' and 'bridges to nowhere.' It lays out a new and hopeful way forward. (Peter Samuel, editor, TOLLROADSnews)

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