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OCR for page 16
16 local and state government boards of directors. These authorities are not self-supporting from user fees and depend on state and local tax sources. An emerging version of a public utility model may be public authority or private HOT and toll road development and operations at the net- work level. This represents a high level of operational control over a limited set of facilities, but examples already exist where SO&M applications are managed by such entities including, in some cases, control of the law enforcement function. This model has limited relevance at the present time in the absence of a separate financial base via user fees and a pricing orientation. In the long run, the introduction of mileage fees, possibly combined with publicly regulated pri- vate operating franchises, might approximate this model. Bringing the Future Forward Faster It is the premise of the report that all major transportation infrastructure owner agencies--state, regional, and local--will undergo a major shift in mission toward a greater emphasis on real-time SO&M if they are to maintain their relevance in maintaining and improving mobility. This shift is an inevitable consequence of the limitations to capacity enhancement and the promise of intelli- gent transportation technology. It is likely that the potential of aggressive SO&M has not yet been conceived, because new concepts and improved systems and strategies continue to evolve. Yet it is clear that the key features of the institutional context--as set forth in this project--constitute the principal barrier to realizing the full promise of SO&M. Evolving more supportive institutional architecture is not really discretionary--it is inevitable.