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dust1990 t1_jdvdyr8 wrote

Hate on the Post all you want, but this is a good piece of journalism that should infuriate every New Yorker. The Post has a lot of sensational articles, but this isn't one of them.


xSlappy- t1_jdw19tl wrote

Nolan Hicks, their transit reporter is pretty solid


Pool_Shark t1_jdww5w2 wrote

The Post does this every once in awhile. When it comes to local news they sometimes do good investigative journalism and I wouldn’t be surprised if it performs as well or better than their usual trolling


oreosfly t1_jdwy9un wrote

The Post is full of BS way too often but I applaud them for occasionally digging into shit that none of our other local media outlets care about.


Pool_Shark t1_jdwyhim wrote

Yeah the real issue is that the bar is so low that we have to applaud the Post for doing this once in a blue moon.


IRequirePants t1_jdygjlk wrote

I like to think that their tabloid-clickbait funds their actual good work.

Anyway, when reading the Post, stick to the Sports and Local sections and avoid the Opinion and National sections. The tabloid articles are kind of fun if you like brainless celebrity gossip.


Spirited_Touch6898 t1_jdwxtet wrote

I wish the Times would pick up this story, unfortunately everyone just dismisses the Post.


ChunkofWhat t1_jdw8yby wrote

It is surprisingly good for The Post. Still, I wish there was more explanation of the different theories behind why MTA projects are so expensive.


NSTheWiseOne t1_jdyrm8g wrote

The people who run the post are absolute scumbags, but under the muck and trash, there are a handful of great journalists who work there


joyousRock t1_je62191 wrote

very well-written & researched article. WHY DO THE STATIONS HAVE TO BE SO BIG???


michaelmvm OP t1_jdv4nps wrote

> MTA officials attacked the findings and argued the new third track on the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line in Nassau shows the MTA is delivering projects on time and on budget.

> “You have to be careful with that subculture,” Lieber told The Post editorial board in February, derisively referring to the researchers. “Those people get a lot of their cost information from the Internet.”

this, by the way, refers to the transit costs project, a comprehensive years long study by professional researchers as to why the MTA spends so much money when no other global agency does:


oreosfly t1_jdvzwco wrote

> Those people get a lot of their cost information from the Internet.”

Do you know why researchers have to go to the ends of Earth to find cost information about the MTA? Because the MTA refuses to fucking disclose how they spend money, even though that money comes from taxpayers.

> “In New York, there are itemized costs prepared by independent cost estimators to inform the MTA when evaluating fixed-price bids, but … those costs are considered a trade secret of the agency, not to be publicized or else it would interfere with the bidding process,” researchers Eric Goldwyn, Alon Levy, Elif Ensari and Marco Chitti wrote in an upcoming report from the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management.

I can go on Google for a random road construction project and find its itemized cost. How do I know? Because I just fucking did it - here’s an itemized invoice from Florida DOT for a road repaving and widening project in the middle of god damn nowhere

How much did it cost taxpayers to remove litter on the roadside for this project? $102. How is the MTA spending $120 million dollars for elevators at the Hunter College station? Who the fuck knows

This smug fuck Janno Lieber cautions that researchers do not have any first party sources when it comes to MTA costs yet his agency refuses to make those costs public.

I refuse to support another penny going to the MTA until they are fully transparent on how they spend their money.


forhisglory85 t1_jdwtrh3 wrote

Well said. How this doesn't cause massive wide spread outrage among New Yorkers and elected officials is beyond me.


kapuasuite t1_jdy7tn1 wrote

> This smug fuck Janno Lieber cautions that researchers do not have any first party sources when it comes to MTA costs yet his agency refuses to make those costs public.

Not surprised - he is and always has been an incompetent hack.


Daddy_Macron t1_jdvf5qu wrote

>“You have to be careful with that subculture,” Lieber told The Post editorial board in February, derisively referring to the researchers. “Those people get a lot of their cost information from the Internet.”

I can literally see his greasy face and self-satisfied smirk in my head as he said this.


i_never_listen t1_jdxroa0 wrote

Thats pretty funny for him to say considering the MTA really has no idea how to estimate costs or schedules and relies on contractors and consultants.

The subculture of the MTA is that to be a top dog your ultimate desire is to manage managers. The priorities are NOT lower costs and efficient construction and removing bottlenecks.

The drawings provided to contractors to do the work ? They are literally illustrations and the contractor cannot build directly from them. Contractors have to make their own drawings and submit them for approval, so a 100 page set of contract drawings becomes many multiples of that. That submittal process? Could take months for something like a set of steel or piping or instrumentation drawings as you go back and forth. When the contractor is making these drawings and issues arise, it becomes an RFI. Then maybe a change order. Months and months are going by as these issues are being resolved. Why does a concrete mix need to be approved for (literally) the 100,000 time? Why isnt there a database of previously approved cctv vendors / manufacturers you can look at for purchasing?

Yes definitely an overly large station is going to cost more. But when the culture has largely accepted the slow pace of construction, managerial and consultant overhead add massive costs.


queensnyatty t1_jdvgzra wrote

The 2nd Ave subway stops are way way bigger than they need to be. Not just longer but a whole pointless mezzanine level.

It’s like someone wanted to go into cathedral architecture but got stuck with designing subway stations.


[deleted] t1_jdvxbw5 wrote



queensnyatty t1_jdvy3ai wrote

In a world of infinite resources, sure I’d love beautiful, inspiring spaces. But given a choice between a dozen new stations—each cramped and ugly—or three oversized pretty ones, I’ll take the dozen every time.


ketzal7 t1_jdx98nx wrote

And tbh they’re not even pretty. With that money we should be getting Moscow level decoration at least.


xSlappy- t1_jdyb5v7 wrote

Yeah, its just a big subway station. The one I went to was cavernous, dark and brutalist. But Cuomo’s name was prominent and looked good!


IRequirePants t1_jdygs3o wrote

> In a world of infinite resources, sure I’d love beautiful, inspiring spaces

I would...above ground. But if I am going to the subway, I really want to get to fresh air as soon as possible.


NeverTrustATurtle t1_jdw4gi0 wrote

Btw, every time they change a lightbulb, it’s $700. For one bulb.

Source: buddy who worked in the 2nd Ave line


queensnyatty t1_jdw7c37 wrote

I knew someone that worked off Broadway. He said whenever a light blew they changed all the lights. Union rules were such that you had to pay for a large minimum block of time, so they might as well do it all at once. They donated the used bulbs at least.


supremeMilo t1_jdwajit wrote

Omg, please tell me MTA doesn’t sub out lightbulb changes.


deathhand t1_jdyn3w4 wrote

They certainly do! The Port Authority also subs out bagge carrisouel cleaning/maintenence and DOT does it for HOV lane conversions! It's turtles and accountants all they way down!


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2e932 wrote

Designed subway caverns!

The tunnels for 2nd Ave Subwaynhave been underground since the seventies connecting 96th, 110th, 116th and 125th. Caverns (or platforms) must be built, utilities & track need to be llaid and connected to caverns(which must be built out).

There was money for all of this, should have been included in the 96th street opening. Was in the design team before AECOM bought out all of the small pure engineering firms.

MTA is supposed to publish all costs due to usi g taxpayer money, but politicians do not hold them accountable neither do taxpayers.

I applaud the NYPost, when they want to report for the people they step it up. Many of my friends are gone, but they all said if you want to know what’s going on in NYC, ya gotta read the post.

Unions have less power than overpaid, rogue contractors paying leads $400K, no one cares if they finish design in time without error.

The best and compliant contractors are never hired anymore. Rogue contractors come here for the money, leave without work completed. When we worked, people high up in the the MTA when asked who was the client during a Project Managent training exercise had no clue! It was unbelievable.

A contractor wanted to hire me, a Hindu male was hired, she wanted me to sue. Perhaps I should have, but finding a good lawyer at the time was not happening.

I have many stories re: refusing to hire quality people to do the design , engineering and construction for MTA. It’s gotta be a mess now!


Neoliberalism2024 t1_jdvbdyf wrote

That’s why I roll my eyes when bright eyed idealistic young people come here and argue that if taxes were slightly higher, and we just soaked the rich, all our problems will be solved.

When it actuality any excess tax revenue will be wasted similiar to this story.


yuriydee t1_jdvg0jb wrote

The issue is always no accountability. Tax revenue is essentially unlimited.....


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2gbkn wrote

At one time there was accountability, newly elected politicians deleted entities that held them accountable and now, it seems MTA reports to no one. DeBlasio was the worst I’ve ever seen. Eric, we’ll see, but his background makes me think he’s in over his head!


williamwchuang t1_jdvi75r wrote

I'm amused when people complain about the budget deficit, and refuse to either cut spending or increase taxes to fix the budget deficit.


CactusBoyScout t1_jdvopiu wrote

I remember several years ago when the 7 line was upgraded with CBTC signaling, Paris did the same thing to one of their lines and a few articles pointed out that it was the most apples-to-apples transit project comparison possible... the two lines were almost the exact same length and number of stations.

And yet Paris did it for like 1/3 the price... despite having very powerful unions.

It is depressing how inefficiently our money is spent.


magnus91 t1_jdx4fpb wrote

But does Paris have powerful politically connected high priced consultants?


TheAJx t1_jdyn7on wrote

> And yet Paris did it for like 1/3 the price... despite having very powerful unions.

Believe it or not France actually has one of the smallest unionized workforces in the EU. New York's unionization rate is twice that of France (20% vs 10%). I know France's unions are capable of putting on a show, but I wonder how "powerful" they really are. In social democracies they tend (though not always) to be incentivized o work in partnership with the government.


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2fo7m wrote

To AJx: The politicians in France worked hand in hand with their Transot leaders to make sure costs were low, people could still travel and improve ridership.


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2ffh3 wrote

France, Japan even Canada have sophisticated cost plans that make their subway projects way more cost worth your money.

Attended Cuomos so-called genius program. Met some intelligent engineers from Japan.

New York transit is managed by a cesspool of wasteful public transit managers with workers who are not even close up to any American standard of industry we once had.


michaelmvm OP t1_jdv49jt wrote

yeah I know it's the post but they actually broke this story and it isn't a racist homophobic editorial for once


fldsmdfrv2 t1_jdvc3i5 wrote

Get ready for fare hikes, congestion pricing, additional surcharges on your cell phone bill, and gas utility bill.

MTA-Goin' your way!

MTA-We serve with Pride!


Jimmy_kong253 t1_jdvmg4n wrote

The construction unions/industry are big donors to the state government and City. That's why these construction prices have been allowed to run rampant I understand this is the New York Post but years ago the New York times did a much better story on the why which l sum it up is exactly what I said the construction unions and the industry have plenty of politicians in their pocket which allowed them to do what they're doing


xSlappy- t1_jdw1lv3 wrote

Design-build is an issue too. Its outsourcing government work to private sector


Jimmy_kong253 t1_jdw3g8r wrote

Well a lot of ex MTA workers (mostly retired managers) also work for those consultant firms. One example is the MTA brought in consultants about the rails you have an entire track department why the hell do you need outside help


TeamMisha t1_jdxm0mc wrote

One day when the MTA is not operated as a jobs program maybe things will change :(


Severe-Jello t1_jdvlfvh wrote

Don't worry gang, I'm sure we can tax our way out of this!


P0stNutClarity t1_jdxnj69 wrote

Audit this dog shit state agency and clean house of the bloat. This shit needs to be investigated on a federal level.


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2g2z1 wrote

Money set aside for work in the federal level has been spent without anyone checking the books to see what really happened.

Those of us who cares were let go, racial profiling was a part of being let go, but more so it was those who no longer wanted to be part of the corrupt system just burning tax dollars.

If you all only knew the deep dark truth, you’d really be cursing!


Zazzerice t1_jdwce2s wrote

The mta is an absolute black hole. They can tax everyone on the entire planet and that would still not be enough to fuel one of the most corrupt entities ever created. Just shut it down, seal up the tunnels, and let the chips fall where they may..


SealEnthusiast2 t1_jdwewu2 wrote

Not the MTA trying to justify $30 million staircases in Times Square that no one actually uses 😭

How many billion dollars went into East Side Access?


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_jealjxv wrote

Too much money went into Eastside Access! I wonder if they are recovering costs at all. Took the inaugural ride, expected lots more people, but wonder what daily ridership is like. Most people get no reprise from taking the train from Jamaica to Grand Central.

Has anyone ridden the new train?


TeamMisha t1_jdxlsuo wrote

Relevant to this article, the New York Times did a really great expose on the 2nd Ave Subway back in 2017, appropriately titled The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth, well worth a read as everything in it is still relevant to this day:


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2gq9m wrote

Worked on that job, 2nd Ave, (design companies)someone walked away with a lot of money and no one was accountable.

Workers loved me, (MTA) but corrupt company (Design Firms) management replaced me with an incompetent, figured they had an excuse to get rid of me, laid me off after my mom died! Someone really disliked good accountability and compliant behavior.

My manager was let go some years later, he was also a great engineer.


StoryAndAHalf t1_jdwdl3z wrote

Says almost same projects in Europe take about 3 Billion worst case. And this costs 7 Billion…

“But the eye-watering price tag means the MTA can’t break ground until it scores $3.4 billion from the Biden administration.”

There we go. Need to justify grabbing as much fed gov’t money as possibly with bullshit and inefficiency.


jae343 t1_jdvutnm wrote

Why don't they just focus on spending that capital money on upgrading all the lines to CBTC and maintain the current system or replace all the old rolling stock with new more-modern cars before trying to force more new extension projects, there is already a cascade of issues to resolve.


sadsacsac t1_jdw6wrg wrote

Why Construction Projects Always Go Over Budget


  • It's complicated
  • Management always wants an easy round number to work with and engineers might throw out a number with caveats but the caveats fall on deaf ears
  • Sometimes a rough number is used at the requirements gathering stage that isn't meant to be the final number, but that number gets leaked to the press, and now every cost analysis is framed around that number
  • Construction projects are complex. You can do your best to analyze all facets like ground conditions, but you can never get the entire picture and so the chances of running into on-the-ground issues are fairly high
  • Scammers exists at all stages, eg. some man-in-the-middle might have swapped out your supplies with shoddier quality. Of course you can always test all of the supplies/equipment you receive, but that comes with added cost and time.

Shreddersaurusrex t1_jdx9o89 wrote

This is why ppl hate the idea of CP. Robbing drivers to support the MTA’s bad habits.


hjablowme919 t1_jdxrd1c wrote

We can thank the corrupt unions for this.


jgalt5042 t1_jdxzxs9 wrote

Unions are only corrupt because of the outsized negotiating power granted to them by the politicians.


hjablowme919 t1_jdzt3x1 wrote

No. Unions are corrupt because the people who work for them are corrupt.

If murder was legal, do you know how many murders I'd commit? None. Because I don't want to murder anyone. Saying people behave in a manner which they do because a system allows it is a copout. When union employees are out bowling or fishing when they should be at work and collecting six figure overtime paychecks for it, it's because they are criminal assholes, not because the system allows it.


jgalt5042 t1_je16l0x wrote

Quite the opposite. The source of the corruption is the toxic entitlement culture of a union. It’s purposefully created in a collectivist manner


hjablowme919 t1_je2lxmv wrote

I'll give you that union workers do have a sense of entitlement. But entitlement doesn't automatically lead to being corrupt. Corruption has always been a part of union culture.


jgalt5042 t1_je2o75j wrote

Exactly. Unions are a cancer


hjablowme919 t1_je2t3zz wrote

They had a purpose 100 years ago. But for the last several decades, they're just an excuse for people to steal.


jgalt5042 t1_je32ys5 wrote

Steal? More so. Organized theft.


hjablowme919 t1_je7ltcy wrote

When you've got guys putting in for overtime they never worked, it's the same as stealing.

Or my new favorite, how the MTA is missing millions of dollars in car parts. As if the employees didn't take them home or the mechanics didn't use them to repair their own cars or their friends cars. They just can't find thousands of parts.


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_je2gxmx wrote

Adding taxes to Amazon to pay for BQE when people are using Amazon less,inquiring minds know! (think ) that’s another project going down the tube in costs, totally messing up that community! Hochul doesn’t have a clue.


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ToffeeFever t1_jdxof9f wrote

The most appropriate flair. Don't care if the mods disagree.


Inevitable_Celery510 t1_jdypacg wrote

Nope! There’s never oversight on the companies completing jobs. There was once oversight but breakdown of common communication is one major problem (inaudible English) costs MTA more money than naught in engineering processes.


NewYorker0 t1_je700sj wrote

Leftists in Reddit told me we just need to tax the shit out of everyone and blindly throw money at every problem and everything is going to be fine.


Practical_Hospital40 t1_je8tzl8 wrote

These MTA officials need to be jailed period this is straight up probably illegal


ketzal7 t1_jdxt82v wrote

Construction costs definitely need to go down. One huge change would be having everything done in house rather than subcontract everything.

That being said, these improvements are typically very beneficial. There isn’t the same scrutiny made toward highway widenings and expansion.