3 thoughts on “A Roadmap to the Transit Issues Facing the Next City Hall

  1. It’ll be difficult to reduce capital construction costs when Cuomo is in the TWU’s pockets. Every politician spouts the benefits of “innovation” – but only when it doesn’t rile up unions. All the new tech in the subways – USB ports, flashy digital ads and countdown clocks – is only aesthetic lipstick that does little in operational improvements but most importantly for Cuomo, don’t take away jobs. Really want to take a hard look at capital costs? Look at “Force Account” labor – the shadow workforce supporting contractors in the tunnels. Safety should not be sacrificed for efficiency, but efficiency shouldn’t be sacrificed for overly bureaucratic work rules that at times have less to do with safety than protecting the status quo. Cuomo should leverage new technology to right-size the cumbersome overhead of capital projects.

    • Excellent point on force account labor. Huge inefficiencies there with redundant workforce practices which add a huge amount of cost to capital (and maintenance) work.
      Cuomo likes “lipstick” approaches -for example, the smile and tile approach at the 4th Ave stations which came in at over $40m per station. They look great – and should at that price point. But what repairs got deferred to pay for the glitz?

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