What is the Cost of Building a Subway?

On November 19th the Marron Institute hosted Marron Fellow Alon Levy for a discussion titled, What is the cost of building a subway? Levy presented his database of urban rail lines and their costs in more than 40 countries, and discussed possible reasons why the MTA’s construction costs are so high when compared with similar transit agencies.

Levy points to the privatization of construction work as a major contributor to high costs, and warned that a new requirement for the MTA backed by Governor Cuomo to use design-build contracts on any project over $25 million could result in exploding construction costs.

Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution lauded Levy on his “pioneering work on this issue” and stated that “...perhaps the greatest value of Levy’s work is in drawing attention to the issue so that the public gets mad enough about excess costs to get politicians to put pressure on agencies like the MTA.”

Levy's Transit Database

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