Sen. Brownsberger, have there been any efforts at the state level to look into the efficiency of our transportation spending? It seems like projects are often over budget and very expensive compared to costs in other states. It’s great that we now have increased funding for transportation, but it’s equally important that we are getting the most for our money.
For example, the new Red and Orange Line cars appear to be much more expensive than any other transit system’s in North America:
The Green Line Extension, originally quoted at $600 million is now over $1.3 billion.
In 2004, the Transportation Finance Commission issued a report outlining cost saving measures and increased revenue needs. Do you know how many of those recommendations were actually implemented?
You raise an interesting question about the car acquisition costs. The piece you cite calls for some answers. We’ll see what we can do to surface some answers and reply further here.
We’ve done a little work on the related issue of relative road maintenance costs. See this link for some comparative stats.
The main cost-saving measures that I recall from the TFC report pertained to health insurance and pension costs and the 2009 and subsequent pension reforms, many of those recommendations were adopted. But I haven’t gone back over it and would welcome pointers to additional issues.
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