What Does Building a Subway Cost?

In the previous item here, I wrote about the Metrolinx study tour including a visit to Madrid. A report reviewing that tour was on yesterday’s Metrolinx Board agenda.

The “Madrid Miracle” is always an issue for discussion. How could a city build so much rapid transit so quickly? Part of the answer lies in the political climate where just getting the work done takes priority over endless political posturing, announcements, jurisdictional wrangling and little action. Part of the answer lies in the money lavished on Madrid by other governments. But part is the much lower cost of building subway tunnels in Madrid compared to other cities thereby making subway expansion much more affordable regardless of who pays for it.

The TTC produced a complementary report examining the differences between Madrid and Toronto to determine just where the cost differences lie. The material that follows is a paraphrase from the TTC’s material with a few of my own observations. Continue reading