Transit Cost Project Media Highlights

Several Publications Feature Ongoing Project

The Transit Costs Project, managed by the Transportation and Land-Use program, has been featured in several recent publications. The Christian Science Monitor published “Biden Wants Infrastructure. Does America Know How to Do It Anymore?” which focuses on Boston’s Green Line extension, and Director of Transportation and Land Use, Eric Goldwyn, is quoted throughout. In Vox’s, “Why Does It Cost So Much To Build Things in America?” Jerusalem Demsas writes:

Transit agencies and local governments also sometimes try to preempt public outcry, creating more work for themselves in the process. The Boston Green Line, for instance, proposed limiting construction to between 10 pm and 7 am and required that traffic keep flowing. But as the transit costs researchers noted, “laborers are less productive when they have to spend the first hour of their shift setting things up and the last hour breaking things down to mask the fact that there is a major construction project underway....[I]n Istanbul, transit construction projects run 24 hours a day.” In the span of seven years (the expected duration of the Green Line’s 4.3-mile project), Istanbul built over 12 miles of subway.

“Here in the United States, we as a country are not very accepting of disruption,” Goldwyn told Vox. In Los Angeles, workers constructing the Purple Line could only work weekends—then Covid-19 hit, and stay-at-home orders made it possible for them to work 24/7. The result?

“They completed the project seven months ahead of schedule.”

Kevin Drum commented on his blog, focusing on the costs of transportation-construction projects in New York City.

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