Annual Privatization Report 2023 — Surface Transportation

In Politics by Michael Rae


Governments have used long-term public-private partnerships for surface transportation projects for the past 60 years. As documented by José A. Gómez-Ibáñez and John Meyer, the phenomenon began in the 1950s and 1960s, as France and Spain emulated the model pioneered by Italy prior to World War II. Italy’s national motorway systems were developed largely by investor-owned or state-owned companies operating under long-term franchises (called concessions in Europe).

In exchange for the right to build, operate, and maintain the highway for a period ranging from 30 to 70 years, the company could raise the capital needed to build it (typically a