10 June 2005
Markets in roads?

Jackie asks:

Is there anywhere where the government has created an internal market in traffic? By that I mean allocating (or selling) people credits (based on mileage, I guess) and then letting them buy, sell, and trade them amongst one another? So if someone like me, who doesn’t own a car, is allocated X mileage per year, I can flog it to someone else in my local area on an eBay-like bidding system (online and by phone).

Er, no.  The nearest thing is Singapore where electronic charging applies to the central business district and some main roads and where rates vary by time of day and type of vehicle.

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  1. So how much of a numpty am I for asking?

    Posted by Jackie Danicki on 10 June 2005 at 11:01pm

  2. Bryan Caplan has suggested a scheme for privatising the roads which involves a similar idea: everyone is issued with both a share in the road company and a transferable entitlement to drive a car on the road.

    It’s been a while since I read it, so I can’t quite remember what his arguments in favour of it were, but it’s webbed here.

    Posted by Andy Wood on 10 June 2005 at 11:12pm

  3. I think that means that if you’re a numpty, Jackie, then so is Bryan Caplan.  And I don’t think Bryan Caplan is a numpty.

    Posted by Andy Wood on 10 June 2005 at 11:14pm

  4. Jackie,

    Rest assured your numptiness rating has been unaffected by the asking of this question.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on 11 June 2005 at 06:24am

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