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What Happened to the National Road Carrier in a Post-Communist Country? The Case of Poland's State Road Transport

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The purpose of this article is to seek to reconstruct the ownership transformation involving Poland's State Road Transport (PKS) companies passed through after 1990. Data collected from various sources (above all the Internet) were used to establish the degree of advancement of the transformation processes. Despite the passage of 18 years since the new economic reforms were launched, privatization processes are not well advanced. State ownership remains dominant, in the form of Treasury companies as well as state-owned enterprises. Privatization processes have encompassed fewer than half of all firms, the most popular form taken (in about a quarter of all analysed cases) involving leasing by workers. This would seem of major interest, attesting as it does to the greater activity of some worker's teams, as well as the passive role of the state in privatization processes. A much smaller number of firms (26) have been purchased by external investors, the only important international concern among these being Veolia, which had taken control of 11 PKS companies as of mid-2006. By and large, it is the firms carrying passengers or passenger and goods that are in a much better situation, as opposed to the companies that are commodity-carriers only. The majority of the latter have collapsed, or have undergone the kind of privatization that involves simultaneous shutdown. Mixed passenger and goods carriers have had to reduce their level of activity in commodity transport.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Stanisław Leszczycki Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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