Cities, states, and metropolitan areas across the United States are looking to invest in a range of public transit projects in order to connect people to jobs and economic opportunity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, and shape development patterns. While these projects are as diverse as the country itself, they all have one thing in common: increased scrutiny over their costs and timelines to build. According to Eno’s Transit Construction Cost Database, the United States pays nearly 50% more on a per-mile basis to build both primarily at-grade and primarily tunneled projects than peer countries.

As part of an 18-month research, policy, and communications project, Eno set out to analyze current and historical trends in public transit project delivery. We convened a set of advisors and conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders to understand the drivers behind mass transit construction, cost, and delivery in the United States. A comprehensive database of rail transit projects was created and curated to compare costs and timelines among U.S. cities and peer metropolitan areas in Western Europe and Canada.

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