Government Ownership of Roads and Railroads—Why?
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In this chapter, an introduction to the subject of government ownership of transport infrastructure assets is given. Some of the traditional arguments for and against government intervention into the transport infrastructure sector are reflected. The conclusion is that there has been a discussion on transport infrastructure and the organization and financing of these systems since long. Often governments have owned the systems. But today many of the traditional arguments in favor of government intervention seem to be questioned. Whether this exemplifies a stronger challenge to the government’s role than at many times before, or is primarily another example of a challenge that will be met by the government adjusting its role to the new situation, is still to be seen. In order to better understand transport infrastructure and its role in the economies and in the development of modern societies, a perspective combining aspects of time, scope, and scale is important.
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