Why is subway accessibility so expensive in the USA?

From an overall interesting article, but with these two procurement tidbits:

Some transit experts speculate that what’s driving up the costs of building new elevators is that the MTA’s procurement process is largely uncompetitive. “They have really hyper-detailed specs for everything,” said Alon Levy, a transit writer and mathematician, of the MTA’s bidding process, noting that some requirements are meant to keep contractors from taking advantage of the agency. But that also results in fewer companies wanting or being able to deal with the MTA. “If there isn’t a lot of competition, the three companies that know how to deal with the MTA can charge a premium because they have a very specific skill – namely, knowing how to deal with the MTA,” Levy said.


Contracting with the MTA may result in a big payday, but for some companies it’s not worth it. “The MTA historically has been a tough partner to work with. And when you factor in the cost of bureaucratic delay, red tape, and project risk, some companies say, ‘No thanks,’” said Colin Wright, a senior associate at the transit advocacy group, TransitCenter.

Excessive complexity > limited competition > higher prices.

However, those are issues also prevalent in construction projects in Europe as well, so why would they be so important in that side of the pond?