Cause of transit projects’ runaway costs is no mystery: unions

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

Crains New York

The Government Accountability Office recently announced plans to study America’s sky-high transit construction costs. New York City—where they are seven times more than the global average—will receive special attention from the federal investigators.

The first phase of the Second Avenue subway cost $2.5 billion for each mile of track. The East Side Access project is projected to cost even more: $3.5 billion per track mile. According to The New York Times, a mile of subway track elsewhere in the world costs $500 million or less.

Why the drastic discrepancy? Two words: labor unions.

Union demands lead to overstaffing, disproportionately high wages and wasteful work rules unique to the Big Apple. The Times exposed the “excessive staffing, little competition and generous contracts” plaguing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority—and taking resources away from much-needed repairs and upgrades.

The devil is in the details. The MTA budget for a 3.5-mile…

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Trillium CNG to Provide Upgrades, Other Services to New York City Transit

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

New York City Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has selectd Love’s Trillium CNG to provide operations and maintenance services for six existing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facilities. Trillium CNG was selected for the seven-year contract after being the highest rated proposer in a competitive procurement. Trillium CNG will also perform upgrades at four of the fueling sites.

“Public transportation is extremely important to millions of people in the New York City area who rely on it for their daily commutes, so ensuring each fueling facility operates at maximum capacity is our top priority,” said Bill Cashmareck, managing director of Trillium CNG. “Our partnership guarantees the fueling facilities remain in excellent condition so NYC Transit and MTA can focus on providing superior service to their riders.”

The private facilities are located throughout the New York City boroughs of Queens and The Bronx. Trillium CNG will remotely monitor the performance…

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Navy taps General Electric for F/A-18 engines

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

UPI

The U.S. Navy has exercised a contract option with Generic Electric for engines in its F/A-18 fighter aircraft.

The $91.6 million contract modification will pay for 24 F414-GE-400 engines, to be installed in F/A-18 aircraft, according to a Defense Department news release.

Work on the contract will be conducted by General Electric in Lynn, Mass., Hooksett, N.H., Rutland, Vt., and Madisonville, Ky., and is expected to be completed in February 2019.

The Navy will pay the full $91.6 million at the time of the award using fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement funds.

The U.S. Navy also uses the F414-GE-400 engine in its EA18G Growler aircraft, according to General Electric. The engines are in the 22,000-pound thrust class.

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