Research Initiative: Transit Costs and Project Delivery

A growing cadre of researchers, advocates, and experts are asking: why does it cost so much to build infrastructure, particularly public transit, in the United States? Last year, Eno kicked off a major research initiative analyzing cost and timeline drivers affecting the delivery of rail transit in the United States. A crucial aim of this research is to understand if and how costs are high, particularly when compared to other countries.

To investigate the relative success and challenge of building transit, the Eno team created a database of projects. The database includes construction cost and timeline data for a total of 171 domestic and international rail transit projects completed over the past 20 years. For each project, factors such as number of stations, grade alignment, station spacing, and mode allow for deeper comparisons.

The purpose of this database is to help draw conclusions about the extent to which transit construction costs differ in the United States and peer countries, as well as shed light on the differences between project characteristics and complexity across countries. The initial insights from this data help form the questions and themes we investigate in further detail through regional case studies. The database will be continually updated with more information and insights as they become available.