Friday, January 5, 2018

Mayor's Nashville transit plan requires $9B for all expenses - nearly double the construction price tag. That assumes no cost overruns.

According to an article in today's Tennessean, Mayor's Nashville transit plan requires $9B for all expenses - nearly double the construction price tag.   This assumes no cost overruns. One would be foolish to not assume cost overruns. The average cost overrun is about 50% and many do much worse.  The Big Dig in Boston was approved in 1982 for completion in 1998, at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion.  The project was to re-route 3.5 mile of an interstate in downtown Boston and put in a tunnel under the city. It was finally completed 25 years later in 2007, at a cost that The Boston Globe estimated at $22 billion.  Nashville's proposal includes 26 miles of new light-rail, improved bus service and an 1.8 mile tunnel through limestone below downtown. If approved by voters I am betting the final cost of Nashville's transit program will be about $25 billion. In addition, the fare box seldom covers the operating cost and requires massive annual subsidies.

Transit project cost overruns (source)

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