The objective of this report is an analysis of public vs. private data and fee collection centers for
vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees. This includes the identification and evaluation of issues that
will affect the relative desirability of the two forms of ownership and operation. These issues
include cost, enforcement, debt collection, flexibility, and public perception.
There are a variety of issues that must be addressed in evaluating public or private provision of a
government service. In general, competitive private provision of a service is likely to be less
costly and more innovative than direct government provision; but direct provision provides more
continuity and avoids some potential problems with contract incentives and changes in service
providers. It is also important to separate the source of differences in cost between direct
government provision and contracted private provision of a service.
An additional consideration is whether the government is choosing a single provider or is setting
up a system that allows for multiple possible private providers, competing with each other for
customers. For example, in trash collection some governments provide direct service, some
contract with a single provider for the service, and some allow multiple private providers to
compete to provide the service. The choice between the latter two forms of private provision is
likely to be affected by issues such as economies of scale, privacy concerns, and enforcement.