Transport Papers

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    Road User Charges : Current Practice and Perspectives in Central and Eastern Europe
    ( 2008-11-01) Queiroz, Cesar ; Rdzanowska, Barbara ; Garbarczyk, Robert ; Audige, Michel
    This paper covers the most commonly used means to charge road users, including fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, vignettes and tolls. It presents a brief survey of road user charging systems in selected European countries and a more detailed overview of current status and perspectives of road user charges in Poland. Consideration is also given to private financing of roads through different forms of public-private partnerships (PPP), including a review of potential applications of the World Bank toolkit for PPP in highways as an instrument to help decision makers and practitioners to define the best PPP approach for a specific country.
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    Launching Public Private Partnerships for Highways in Transition Economies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-09) Queiroz, Cesar
    In many countries the private sector has been involved in financing infrastructure through concessions under a public-private partnership (PPP) program. PPP schemes, however, are somewhat underutilized in transition economies, where the potential financing gaps are significant and growing, and there seems to be an enormous potential for more private sector involvement in the financing and operation of highway assets in these countries. Institutions such as the World Bank can contribute to enhance private financing of road infrastructure through greater use of their guarantee power, in addition to supporting, when required, the public sector contribution to the construction cost of a PPP project through loans. Partial risk guarantees are particularly relevant in the context of seeking more private involvement in the financing of road infrastructure. This paper reviews potential applications of partial risk guarantees, the required legal framework (for example, concession law) for attracting private capital for PPP schemes, possible steps for a country to launch a program of private participation in highways, the concept of greenfield and road maintenance concession programs, and the treatment of unsolicited proposals. It also summarizes potential applications of the World Bank Toolkit for PPP in Highways as an instrument to help decision-makers and practitioners to define the best PPP approach for a specific country.
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    Privatizing British Railways : Are There Lessons for the World Bank and its Borrowers?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-09) Thompson, Louis S.
    The privatization of British Railways (BR) has been deeply controversial. Having concluded that the old BR had run out of financial and managerial steam, the Conservative Government of John Major embarked in 1992 on a radical reform program involving the breakup of the formerly unitary system into over a hundred parts and their subsequent privatization. The Bank's railway borrowers often react to the British experience (and the similar policies in the European Union requiring infrastructure separation) by arguing either that the situation in the U.K. was so particular that it has little application anywhere else, or by asserting that the U.K experience was a "failure" and should be ignored: this report argues that neither assertion is true. Though the assertions are convenient, governments cannot ignore their railways for all the reasons outlined in a long series of World Bank reports on railway restructuring. Aside from the sheer financial and economic burden of an inefficient railway, the non-market benefits of rail services in urban transport, in relieving highway congestion and pollution management, and in accident reduction, mandate government intervention if they are to be maximized. Accepting the specifics of the U.K. conditions, and with the acknowledged benefit of hindsight, this report aims to draw some useful conclusions. In short, both restructuring and private sector involvement remain viable options; but, neither is a panacea and implementing either requires care.