Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable projects

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hiawather
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Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable projects

Postby hiawather » May 24th, 2017, 11:07 am

I thought this may be of interest, and is less likely to be used out of context to bash mass transit, to streets.mn forumites:

"The Second Avenue Subway in New York City, for example, is being built at a cost of nearly $1.7 billion per kilometer while new subway lines are being built in Paris, Copenhagen, and Berlin for about $250 million per kilometer."

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... tion-costs

I was not aware this was the case at all. I assumed European transit projects would be much more expensive (hard to dig in cities that have been around 1,000+ years without finding some sort of historic artifact, for one).

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kellonathan
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Re: Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable proj

Postby kellonathan » May 24th, 2017, 11:21 am

I just finished my master's thesis at grad school on this exact topic---the more I study on this issue, the more fascinating it gets!

But the short answer on this question is... "it's complex" and "it depends"...
Jonathan Ahn | hello@jonathanahn.com
Keep calm and ride transit.

David Greene
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Re: Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable proj

Postby David Greene » May 24th, 2017, 11:46 am

I'd love to get a copy of your master's thesis. Do you have it online somewhere?

hiawather
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Re: Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable proj

Postby hiawather » May 24th, 2017, 1:38 pm

I think your thesis is already getting groupies because I'd like to see it as well. I predict that soon enough your thesis will feel like the belle of the ball in this transportation policy wonk forum. Could you at minimum provide us with source material information pertaining to this particular issue that you found for your thesis?

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kellonathan
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Re: Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable proj

Postby kellonathan » May 25th, 2017, 1:51 pm

I don't have my thesis posted online unfortunately, but here's a link to the 'teaser' presentation slides for the talk I gave. I'm out of town for post-graduation travelling duties, but I'll make sure to check in with the thread after I come back in couple weeks!

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/ ... sp=sharing

I'm almost too embarrassed by the quality of my work (lack thereof), but hopefully this helps!

Also, here are some of the reports I heavily quoted throughout the report:
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/partners/erp/Le ... %20(2).pdf
https://www.partnershipsbc.ca/files-4/d ... il2006.pdf
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/funding/inno ... amples.pdf
Jonathan Ahn | hello@jonathanahn.com
Keep calm and ride transit.


tmart
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Re: Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable proj

Postby tmart » January 26th, 2018, 12:24 pm

Sad to see the Blue and Green Line extensions making a cameo in that CityLab article.

I feel like "mass transit projects are important but we need to work on containing costs" is a broadly popular sentiment, but one with absolutely no room in the current political climate. The frustrating thing is, the MN GOP actually have a good point when they complain about excessive costliness of SWLRT, but because of the stance they've adopted--that they oppose the project on principle, rather than demanding ways to improve it and bring costs down--there's been little good-faith effort to actually address costs. They've given up a chance to do some real good, both on those projects and on future ones. Meanwhile Dems only seem interested in arguing along those same build/no-build lines, perhaps out of fear of alienating Labor or of killing the project by further delays.

talindsay
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Re: Mass transit construction costs in the United States far higher than what European countries pay for comparable proj

Postby talindsay » January 29th, 2018, 2:02 pm

Note that our two extensions are only mentioned once, together, for their per-mile cost of $120 and 130 million, as an example that it's very broad. All the other references to "Green Line Extension" in the article are to Boston's Green Line Extension.


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