Chapter 5: Alternatives to Attaining Efficient Resource Allocation through Transport Markets: Origins and Implications
5. Alternatives to Attaining Efficient Resource Allocation through Transport Markets: Origins and Implications INTRODUCTION Transport acts as a link between activities separated by space. In moving people and objects, it contributes to the creation of value and income. Produced by a unit of conveyance (vehicle) and a medium (infrastructure) to facilitate movement, transport is a perishable, service input, enabling freight and passengers to be transferred between, as well as within, centres of production. It is also a consumption good, inasmuch as riding, piloting and sailing are pleasurable activities desirable in themselves. By mobilising the state's coercive power, transport services have been major inputs in the establishment of the public goods of protection, law and justice. Transport has facilitated the administration of government by facilitating the passage of written communication. Similarly, the transport of private correspondence and the physical movement of people have facilitated social intercourse and engendered a broad sense of social cohesiveness that has contributed to the political discourse of nations. Numerous combinations of units of conveyance provide transport services with mediums in or on which they move. These range from human porters traversing uncharted terrain to supersonic aircraft taking off, travelling in air space and landing at airports with the assistance of navigational aids. There are five major transport mediums: water, road, rail, air and pipelines. With the exception of railways, which, in rail-tracks, provide the medium, and are the sole transport medium, transport services are provided by buyers who combine seller with self-supplied inputs, such as cars...
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