Category Archives: Construction Costs

New York Finds Massive Savings in Transit Construction

MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast announced that an internal review of MTA Capital Construction reveals that there are large wastes in the capital budget that could be eliminated with relatively simple step. City comptroller Scott Stringer noted that Second Avenue Subway’s … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, New York, Transportation, Urban Transit | 15 Comments

Empire High-Speed Rail

At the beginning of the month, New York State released its draft environmental impact statement for high-speed rail from New York to the Upstate cities. The costs of HSR as proposed by the state are excessive, and as a result … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, New York, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 90 Comments

Metro-North-Everything Compatibility

The Regional Plan Association has a new study warning that Metro-North’s infrastructure is falling apart, and demands $3.6 billion in immediate spending on state of good repair. In general, my line on deferred maintenance is “you mean the agency deferred … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good/Interesting Studies, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 40 Comments

Monorail Construction Costs

Supporters of monorail and other sleek structures argue that because the structures are thinner than conventional rail viaducts, they’re cheaper and more aesthetic. They even argue that viaducts, which are more expensive than at-grade construction, are actually better. Transrapid does … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Transportation | 56 Comments

Quick Note: Why Quinn is Unfit to be Mayor

The Triboro RX plan calls for using preexisting freight rail rights-of-way with minimal freight traffic to build a circumferential subway line through the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. It was mentioned as a possible project by then-MTA head Lee Sander and … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit | 9 Comments

Comparative Subway Construction Costs, Revised

Here is a list of subway projects in the last 15-20 years, in both developed and developing countries. It’s in addition to my initial lists for developed and developing countries, but includes projects mentioned in past blog posts not on … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 44 Comments

Construction Costs and Perceptions

While looking for South Korean cost data for a major update of my construction costs posts, I stumbled upon a newspaper article excoriating Seoul’s extravagant construction, comparing it unfavorably with the US. Per Joong-Ang, the US neglect of infrastructure is … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 26 Comments

Relative Costs of Transit Construction

The relative costs of different technologies of transit are not fixed. Although there are some rules of thumb for the ratio of tunneling cost to above-ground transit cost, the actual ratio depends on the city and project, and this would … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good/Interesting Studies, Studies, Transportation, Urban Transit, Vancouver | 10 Comments

Are Forecasts Improving?

In response to my takedown of Reason, specifically my puzzlement at the estimates of inaccuracy in traffic forecasts, alert reader Morten Skou Nicolaisen sent me several papers on the subject. While there is past research about traffic shortfalls, for example … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good/Interesting Studies, High-Speed Rail, Regional Rail, Studies, Transportation, Urban Transit | 15 Comments

Low- and Medium-Hanging Fruit

The entire process I try to apply to cost-effective rail construction is to figure out the best places to spend money per unit of time saved. Obviously, this is mainly for intercity traffic – for local traffic it’s more interesting … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good Transit, High-Speed Rail, Transportation | 20 Comments