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The most expensive new subway line in the world

In other New York City news, they apparently have the most expensive new subway line in the world:

At $2.5 billion per mile, construction costs for the 1.8-mile Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway were 8 to 12 times more expensive than similar subway projects in Italy, Istanbul, Sweden, Paris, Berlin and Spain, according to a report from New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management.

This is an important problem because public transit is good for cities:

It is not possible to outdo the subway in capacity per amount of land consumed— and in a high-demand city, 12-lane freeways are prohibitively land-intensive. Hook (1994) argued that Japan focused on rail transportation in its largest cities because it had high land values in the postwar era and such strong property rights that widespread land condemnation for freeways based on the American model was impossible.

If this is a topic that interests you, I would encourage you to check out the report, as well as their Transit Costs Project website. It allows you to compare transit project costs for 159 different cities.

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