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Edited by André de Palma, Robin Lindsey, Emile Quinet and Roger Vickerman
Chapter 30: Public–Private Partnerships in Transport
Antonio Estache, Ellis Juan and Lourdes Trujillo INTRODUCTION The twenty-first century has started with significant ideological changes involving an increasing popular rejection of a strong role for the private sector in the management and financing of public services. This change is most obvious in developing countries but is not a minor phenomenon elsewhere, most obviously in Continental Europe and to some extent in the UK. Yet despite these changes, despite the high profile contract renegotiations in Latin America and Africa and despite the recurring debate on the matter within the EU, public–private partnerships (PPP) continue to be on the agenda of many politicians in both developed and developing countries.1 For many governments, the main motivation is the need to reduce the fiscal costs of the transport sector. The concern to cut unit costs is often also present, but less obviously so. It has usually been more present in Anglo-Saxon countries but increasingly so in other countries as well as indicated by the EU experience. The conviction that private operators are likely to be able to deliver services more efficiently is indeed often also a key driver of the continued effort to get into PPPs. Whatever the driving forces behind PPPs, they are expected to deliver infrastructure or services at reasonable cost and with attention to social aspects. They also increasingly involve the government making explicit comparisons with public funded and managed alternatives. Even when public sector borrowing costs will be lower, other factors are considered. These include the opportunity...
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