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VIII. CAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT MIMIC PROPRIETARY GOVERNANCE?

Since we cannot expect desocialization of the roads any time soon, let us briefly ask: Could we hope to see local government manage the streets in a manner similar to our optimistic picture of proprietary governance? The local government would still be bound to face the rigidities and lack of incentives which prevent it from capitalizing on local opportunity, but we might encourage them to do the best they can, and to encourage a decentralization of such competing efforts. Thus we might develop a reform proposal of deregulation and privatization, and the devolution of full authority over sevice registration, insurance requirements, and curb rights to local government authorities. The local authorities would need to hammer out a system which essentially defined property rights in waiting passengers, and which saw to it that those rights were respected. Adrian Moore, Binyam Reja and I have put forth a proposal for local governments to establish and enforce a system of curb rights appropriate to local conditions, aimed at remedying many of the problems arising from the street/curb/sidewalk being a commons (Klein, Moore, and Reja 1997). The authorities might also need to facilitate the information flow between consumers and carriers, and they would still need to provide passenger facilities like benches, shelters, and stations on public property.

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