The Free Enterprise Alternative proposes separation of rail carrier and fixed way functions. All rail roadways in a region would be owned by a regional roadway company, and several roadway companies would form the national roadway network. Many carriers of several different types would share use of the roadway network. Both elements--regional roadway companies and multiple types of carriers-are essential to the Free Enterprise Alternative.
Joint use of roadways offers carriers better routes, lower costs, and improved efficiency. Competition would be enhanced as a constructive market force. Several types of carriers (common, contract, and private) would encourage innovations in rates, service, and equipment.
The highway, water, and air modes all utilize fixed ways which are provided at public expense and made available to all who desire to use them. joint use of the fixed way facilitates competition among the carriers in each mode.
An industrial plant which ships or receives freight can locate adjacent to a major highway and obtain service from several common and contract carriers. If its shipments are exempt from economic regulation the firm can hire individual owner-operators and other exempt carriers. The firm can lease or buy its own trucks and engage in private carriage.
If the firm builds its plant along a navigable waterway, service is available from a number of common and contract water carriers. Towboats and barges are readily available for charter. The shipper can lease or buy vessels and provide its own private carriage.
If the firm needs air freight service, it can ship by several air cargo and air express common carriers. The firm can contract for air service. The shipper can exercise its private carriage option and fly its own aircraft.