Why Transportation Projects Are Expensive

David Levinson poses some possible answers, such as inaccurate project scopes, insufficient economies of scale, and an increase in safety standards.

"We are simultaneously spending too much and not spending enough," writes Levinson.

"Because we mis-prioritize where the money is spent, we have inadequate resources for other things. We cut corners."

"There is a tension between the risk of gold plating (focus on benefits to the exclusion of cost) and of corner cutting (focusing on costs to the exclusion of benefits). But there is available to us a balance, building something which maximizes the difference between benefits and costs, not just looking at benefits or costs. Insufficient attention is placed on the trade-off, too much on the ends by advocates of one side or the other."

Full Story: Transportation costs too much

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