Costly Lessons from the Second Avenue Subway

+ Eric Goldwyn


In the New York Review of Books, Research Scholar Eric Goldwyn’s “Costly Lessons from the Second Avenue Subway” reviews Philip Plotch’s book, Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City. Goldwyn writes:

In our research on transit-infrastructure construction costs at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, my colleagues Alon Levy, Elif Ensari Sucuoğlu, and I have collected data on more than five hundred urban rail projects in fifty countries and found that New York’s are consistently the most expensive in the world. Outside of New York, new subways and extensions typically cost between $250-$450 million per mile. While every project is unique, it is not immediately clear why digging a subway on the Upper East Side is twenty times more expensive than in Seoul or ten times more expensive than in Paris.

He offers insights as to why this might be the case.

Read the Review

Back to top
see comments ()