It's not just the rising price of a subway ride that frustrates New Yorkers. There's also the soaring cost of maintaining and expanding the system, which political leaders and advocates say the MTA needs to better control. Transit Reporter Jose Martinez has more.
They're the diamonds of the city's subway: three sparkling stations along Second Avenue.
They are priced like gems, too; the Second Avenue line is the priciest subway extension on the planet.
"We don't need vaulted ceilings at the Second Avenue Subway," said Assemblyman Bobby Carroll. "We don't need public art installations. We need new signals, we need new subway cars."
On Monday, elected officials and transit advocates blasted the MTA for what they called runaway costs on big construction projects.
The not-even two-mile-long Second Avenue line opened on New Year's Day at a cost of nearly $4.5 billion, a price dwarfing similar transit projects in London and Paris.
"Aside from the excessive amount of time it cost to do it, it cost between four and ten times as much as a comparable subway would cost in comparable, well-developed modern cities," said David Bragdon with the Transit Center.
Those gathered at City Hall called on MTA Chairman Joe Lhota to create an independent panel to study why the agency's capital costs are so high.
"Let's make sure the MTA is spending the money it has wisely," said State Senator Michael Gianaris. "It is clearly not doing that right now."
The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway cost $2.7 billion per mile. But a new line is being built for the Paris Metro at a cost of just $370 million a mile.
That's just a start. With the MTA planning to eventually stretch the Second Avenue Subway from 96th Street into Harlem, the politicians and advocates say it's important to control those costs now.
"We can't wait any long for cost reform at the MTA," said Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal.
The MTA claims it is working to contain costs, saying in a statement: "New York has some of the highest construction costs across all industries -- which is exactly why the MTA's new senior management team is laser-focused on this issue."
The MTA adds it is constantly studying "best practices" to cut costs and that it already "aggressively" holds contractors accountable for delays.
But the cost of a new Long Island Rail Road terminal beneath Grand Central has been like a runaway train.
The MTA now projects the East Side Access project will cost $10.2 billion — about $6 billion more than the original budget.