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Rail projects in San Francisco cost more than almost anywhere else in the world

Eli Wirtschafter
Passengers wait for a train at the Civic Center BART station in San Francisco.

The new Transbay Transit Center opens next month in San Francisco. It’s meant to connect buses from the East Bay with MUNI, Caltrain, and High-Speed Rail. The only problem? The tunnel connecting Caltrain to the transit center hasn’t been built yet. The tunnel will be less than miles long, but building it will cost $4 billion dollars, on top of the $2.2 billion already spent on the transit center.

"One of the problems that comes up is simply spending money on projects that are unnecessary."

Andy Bosselman, a former KALW reporter, recently wrote for the website Curbed that, mile for mile, projects like this cost way less in other parts of the world. KALW’s Eli Wirtschafter talked to him about why that is.


Eli is the Program Director for KALW's project in state prisons. We teach incarcerated people how to record and edit audio stories, and air them as part of the series Uncuffed.