The Purple Line to Nowhere…

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

If that age-old adage, known as “the law of holes,” was an actual law, the savings for taxpayers from canceling just a few poorly planned subway projects could be counted in the billions.

I previously called out Speaker Pelosi’s six mile subway extension from San Francisco to Silicon Valley that was already expected to cost a billion dollars per mile to build.  The price tag has since increased 50% to more than $9 billion!  And of course, it’s delayed.

Fully aware of these problems, the Biden administration is nonetheless committing up to $2.3 billion of taxpayer dollars to Pelosi’s poorly-planned pork project.

The National Capital Purple Line, which was supposed to connect Washington, D.C.’s subway lines in the Maryland suburbs, is on track to being yet another billion dollar boondoggle.  It was over budget and behind schedule before it even started!

Construction costs have steadily increased from $2 billion to $3.4 billion while the overall price tag to build, operate, and manage the system has ballooned from $5.6 billion to $9.3 billion

And as the costs go up, the completion date keeps getting pushed back!  The service, originally expected to begin in spring 2022, is now delayed until fall 2026.

The project has literally been stopped in its tracks for two years because the companies building it quit.  Ironic, since the Purple Line was promoted as “Transit that Works.” 

To get the rail service back on track, a contractor with its own track record of cost overruns and delays has been hired to complete the construction of the system.  And the company selected to produce the trains for the Purple Line was responsible for making the D.C. subway system’s “least reliable” passenger cars.

What could possibly go wrong?

June 2022 Squeal Award: Department of Transportation

Despite all the flashing warning signals, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is dug in on the project and is providing more than $910 million in grants and a low-interest, taxpayer-backed loan totaling nearly $1.8 billion.

To put these numbers into perspective, Iowa has budgeted a total of $835 million for road and bridge construction projects across the entire state for a full year!

That is why I am awarding my June 2022 Squeal Award to DOT for continuing to shovel your hard-earned tax dollars into these bottomless boondoggles.

The good news for taxpayers is that I successfully forced my provision into the bloated infrastructure bill approved by Congress last year that requires DOT to disclose and justify every project being supported with your tax dollars that is $1 billion or more over budget and five years or more behind schedule. 

And while DOT may not expect projects to be completed on time, I do and so do taxpayers across this country!

That’s why I am sending a friendly reminder to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg that an explanation is soon due as to why Washington keeps digging into taxpayers’ pockets to pay for these billion dollar boondoggles.


Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!