New York City’s transit infrastructure is ancient and crumbling. Everyone agrees that the city needs to fix its existing transit assets and build more, but construction in Gotham takes forever and costs a fortune. Why is building new tunnels and bridges in New York so expensive and difficult, and what can be done to make it cheaper and easier?
The Facts You Need to Know
10x: The per-mile cost of digging tunnels in New York City runs between $2 billion and $8 billion, an order of magnitude higher than it costs to build comparable projects in Europe or Asia. Read more.
Staffed: Union rules in New York mandate using up to 25 workers at a time for a tunnel-boring machine; in Sweden, the same machine requires only five workers. Read more.
Scaffold Law: Insurance costs on New York construction projects are the highest in the United States, largely due to the archaic Scaffold Law. Read more.
“Long tolerated as an accepted natural consequence of New York’s size and dominance, these costs threaten to strangle New York’s future economic growth.”
A "reliable continuous funding source" such as petroleum tax, sales tax, payroll tax, real-estate-transfer tax, taxi tax? MTA has all those; they bring in $5.4 billion annually. Costs have overwhelmed all of them. Costs, at the moment, are more important than revenue. https://t.co/foyhlSGXIW— Nicole Gelinas (@nicolegelinas) August 29, 2018
The Past is Present
“Massachusetts should be ashamed — but New York State shouldn’t feel superior. Albany boasts more than 700 unaccountable public authorities just like the Bay State’s MTA.”
And in other news...
“A Brooklyn councilman is pushing a bill that would prohibit the city from contracting business with entities enforcing federal immigration laws.”