The Free Enterprise Alternative separates carrier and roadway functions. A competitive, free market system is used for carriers while regional roadway companies are regulated as natural monopolies. With the roadways open to all carriers, competition is encouraged, captive shippers are freed, and carriers are given the economic benefits of joint roadway use.
The operation of intercity rail roadways and carriers under the new structure is described in the two preceding chapters. The interaction of roadway and carrier companies in terminal areas is more complex. Terminal can be broadly defined as any point at which a unit of transportation begins or ends. For the specific purposes of this chapter, a terminal is defined as all rail facilities in an urban area. Adaptation of existing terminals to the new structure poses a challenging opportunity to improve rail service and efficiency.
All rail roadways in each region would be owned by the regional roadway company. The roadway company would control train traffic and perform roadway maintenance; this would hold true in urban terminals as well as in rural areas. The only trackage not owned by the roadway company would be that in carrier and shipper facilities.
Roadways in terminal areas would be classified as previously described (Interstate, Primary, Secondary, Branch). Although each type would handle local traffic, through traffic would be served mostly by Primary and Interstate roadways. Belt roadways--usually Primary or Interstate--would allow trains to bypass congested areas, just as belt highways do for automobiles and trucks. Local traffic would predominate on Secondary and Branch road-