More Subways?

The Story

A recent New York Times article surveyed New Yorkers who live in areas of the city not served by the subway. Many people, especially in eastern Queens and parts of the Bronx, rely on bus service to get around. The Times implies that the MTA is ignoring certain neighborhoods and communities, but the article begs the question: why is it so economically infeasible to expand New York’s subway system?

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Cost: At roughly $2 billion per kilometer, subway construction in New York is about 10 times more expensive than in European cities such as Berlin and Stockholm. Read more.

  2. Undermined: State rules and union contracts requiring the hiring of surplus unionized laborers make New York’s subway-construction costs much higher compared with other localities. Read more.

  3. Capital: The MTA’s capital plan is inadequate even to maintain existing infrastructure — much less to begin construction of major new lines in the outer boroughs. Read more.

“The MTA’s capital priorities do not reflect its funding sources.”

Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Question Authorities By E.J. McMahon (February 26, 2004)

“For the better part of six decades, New York governors and legislators have been in the habit of creating new authorities for the thinly-veiled purpose of circumventing debt restrictions and shifting often dubious project expenses outside the glare of tax-supported budgets.”

And in other news...

“The state Department of Taxation and Finance on Wednesday issued a preliminary plan for instituting a payroll tax that would help New York wage earners avoid paying state income tax.”