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Toll Roads, Privatization, and Public Opinion

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Respondents line up strongly against road privatization. An overwhelming 84 percent of those polled by the National Association of Realtors Americans oppose the privatization of existing public highways. Two-thirds oppose letting private companies build, own and toll new roads.

Surveys from several states that have approved or proposed highway lease deals mirror these results. The data also follows a trend, identified by Rod Diridon Sr., executive director of the San Jose State University’s Mineta Transportation institute, that people tend to become more skeptical about public-private partnerships in transportation the more they learn about the particular plans.