Policy Documents

No. 18 Weight-Distance Fees For Heavy Trucks: A Market Approach to Highway Pricing

Yale Brozen and Joseph P. Schwieterman –
December 10, 1987

Transportation in the United States-- from municipal bus and subway operations to highways, railroads, and airlines--has endured a history of government-imposed pricing policies that require some users to subsidize others. Cross subsidies have been an integral part of national transportion policy, moving from provisions in railroad land grant charters more than a century ago to the myriad taxes, price regulations, and user fees affecting today's transportation systems. They invariably bestow unearned benefits on some industries or consumers, while penalizing others with prices in excess of costs. Incentives aer distorted and inefficiencies created as a consequence.


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