Why do we suck at building subways?
At Salon, Will Doig asks why American public transit projects have decades-long time lines, while in China, new transit projects open in a heartbeat. And as Matt Yglesias points out, American transit projects are also more expensive than comparable build-outs in other big, rich cities, like London.
So what’s our problem? (Besides, you know, that we insist on safe working conditions and some environmental protections.) Doig has a few suggestions, including:
- We plan too much.
- We don’t have enough money invested in transit.
- Politicians want a transit project to serve their constituents. Or go nowhere near them! Either way, they can derail progress.
- We love cars too much.
It’s not clear how to zap these problems into nonexistence. But, for starters, more money would help.