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Bill Weld on Technology

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)


Privatized highway maintenance, instead of public unions

Beginning in 1992, Weld's administration contracted out highway maintenance in eastern Massachusetts, long the domain of public-sector unions. The results are impressive by any measure: the Highway Department has cut its workforce from 3,100 to 2,300 and its operating budget from $96 million to $73 million--while increasing the frequency of grass mowing, bridge washing, and road sweeping. In Dukakis's last term, 302 state bridges were repaired or rebuilt; in Weld's first term, that number nearly doubled, to 595, and researchers found it 21% more cost-effective than the old system.

At various times, Weld or his aides have suggested privatizing the new Central Artery; the Massachusetts Turnpike; the buses and subways of the MBTA; and Logan International Airport. Except for the MBTA (still unprivatized, but sill being talked about it), all these suggestions have died.

Source: Jeff Jacoby in City Journal , Jan 1, 1996

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Page last updated: Jul 10, 2014