by Clifford Winston
Mercatus Center
June 17, 2014
Working Paper Series
Transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, airports, and the like, significantly contributes to America’s prosperity by facilitating access to the workplace, shopping, and leisure activities, as well as giving employers easy access to labor, capital, and potential consumers. However, current capacity for transport has become increasingly strained, and travelers and shippers have experienced more congestion and delays. The public sector’s “strategy” to increase infrastructure spending fails to generate the large promised benefits because its pricing and investment and operating policies are so inefficient. The most promising approaches to improving infrastructure performance – namely, technological advances in transportation modes like driverless cars and satellite-guided aircraft – have been developed in the private sector. These innovations will lead to a new era of highway and air transportation, provided that their implementation is not impeded by the government.

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