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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