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View from the Cordillera

A Commentary on Achieving Excellence in Local Government
Read by Municipal Leaders on 4 Continents
Published by the Cordillera Institute
(Vol. 4, Issue 9)
Restoring Our Disappearing Rail Services (part 3)
To order the full text of this commentary or to become a subscriber, see the notes below.

Summary of This Commentary
In part 1 of this series, we saw how massive senior-government interventions tilted the competition for our transportation dollars decidedly in favor of rail's competitors.  So, the challenge is to re-level the playing field.  Where should we look for solutions?  Once again, there are 2 basic choices -- market-based or intervention-based.  Is a government-monopoly rail system the answer?  To see how such a system would perform, we need look no further than the existing GSEs (government-sponsored enterprises -- Amtrak in the U.S. and Via Rail in Canada).  If we are going to level the playing field for road and rail, how should our highway systems be structured?  How can the disadvantages of the current monopoly be overcome?  It does not mean trading that monopoly for a government-sponsored monopoly in the private sector.  Then, what role would our senior governments play?  Even after divesting their highways, they would still have an essential role to play.  This issue describes that role and offers a prescription to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of our land-based transportation networks.

As always, we welcome your comments.

David Barber
Director
Cordillera Institute
(416) 293-9300
CordInst@istar.ca
http://pages.istar.ca/~cordinst/



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About This Publication
Each issue of View from the Cordillera covers some aspect of excellence in local government.  It may examine one of the success elements; it may present a case study; it may introduce a resource (an individual, a group, a publication, etc.) which is advancing excellence; it may advocate a new direction for local government; or it may identify a wrong turn in public policy and offer an appropriate remedy.  This electronic publication is read by those who govern, manage, support, and sustain our local governments.  For more information, just click on the About VFC button below.

About the Cordillera Institute
The Cordillera Institute is an independent research and public policy organization dedicated to excellence in local government.  Since our founding in 1994, we have studied many high-performance organizations to learn what makes them successful.  From this research, we have distilled a set of principles, paradigms, policies, programs, and practices which are the key elements of their success.  Our mission is to be a catalyst — to empower municipalities, school boards, public utilities, and other local public agencies to achieve excellence by adopting and applying these success elements.  For more information, just click on the About CI button below.

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