12 October 2012 ~ 7 Comments

Major news for San Francisco: Federal funding for the Central Subway Project has been approved

Federal, state and local officials gathered in Union Square yesterday to announce approval of federal funding for the Central Subway Project.

Yesterday Mayor Edwin M. Lee and key officials announced that an agreement dedicating $942.2 million in federal funds to the Central Subway Project has been approved. This major funding news finalizes the financing for extending the Muni Metro T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and other federal, state and local officials joined Mayor Lee to announce the approval of funding through the FTA’s New Starts program.

“When the Central Subway is complete, our city will see a stronger economy, a larger workforce, decreased pollution, less congestion, and faster, safer commutes,” said Leader Pelosi. “Working with partners and leaders from government, business, and the community, this project will serve as an economic engine for our city, improve and enhance our infrastructure, and connect the diverse communities of San Francisco.”

A major improvement over existing transit service along the congested 4th Street and Stockton Street corridors, the Central Subway will cut travel times by more than half compared to current Muni bus routes. In addition, construction of this major infrastructure project will create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, and provide a boost to the local economy.

The announcement took place at a ceremony held at the future site of the Union Square/Market Street Station. More information about the Central Subway and this exciting funding news is available in this press release from Mayor Lee.

Here are some photos of the event:

Secretary LaHood announced approval of the federal funds, earning a round of applause from attendees.

Democratic Leader Pelosi, a longtime advocate for the Central Subway, spoke about her experiences trying to catch Muni buses along the congested Stockton Street corridor. Crowded buses crawl along Stockton Street at a rate as slow as three miles per hour.

Senator Feinstein, a strong supporter of the project, spoke about the major improvements to public transit the Central Subway will provide. With the addition of the Central Subway, the T Third Line is projected to become the most heavily used line in the Muni Metro system by 2030.

Congresswoman Speier spoke about the major transit investments planned for the Bay Area, including the Central Subway, California high-speed rail and the electrification of Caltrain. Investments like these will vastly improve the Bay Area’s transportation network.

FTA Administrator Rogoff signs a ceremonial document confirming the New Starts grant. New Starts has contributed $92.4 million to the Central Subway Project to date. The remaining amount will be distributed in annual allocations as the project progresses.

The Central Subway will connect to BART, Caltrain, Muni Metro, Muni bus routes, Muni cable car lines and, in the future, high-speed rail, significantly improving San Francisco’s and the Bay Area’s public transportation network. It is expected to open to the public in 2019.

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  • WeAreMany

    “The Central Subway would disconnect Muni’s light rail T-Line riders from the the baseball park, the future basketball pavillion, the Embarcadero, the Market Street subway stations, Muni Metro, BART, the ferries, the Transbay Terminal and high-speed rail.  After riding a half mile from Chinatown, Central Subway riders would have to travel on foot almost a quarter of a mile to reach a Market Street subway. ” from http://www.savemuni.com/
    How exactly is that an improvement?  It sounds like all the people from Bayview will have a lot of transit access removed just so tourists can get to the attractions a bit easier.  

    • BarryEisenberg

      Absolutely correct WeAreMany. It’s nothing but a political payoff for the Embarcadero Freeway teardown of oh so many years ago. At outrageous expense the Central Subway promises to relieve Chinatown street traffic that could be remediated at a fraction of the cost. The waste of money will degrade already unreliable Muni service in all other parts of the system. It’s pork, pure and simple hiding under the guise of modernism and planning for the future and brought to you courtesy of renowned porkers Willie Brown and Rose Pak. It can still be halted though, probably via a ballot measure that puts the issue to the people who would suffer the consequences of such an ill-conceived scheme.Yes, it can still be stopped. 

    • Cd

      Have u tried to drive away from the ball park moving the muni away from the park a small distance is better planning

  • Jodi6

    Terribly embarrassing. What a waste of money. This will have such a minimal change on the current system.

  • Elijah

    “The Central Subway will connect to BART, Caltrain, Muni Metro, Muni bus routes, Muni cable car lines and, in the future, high-speed rail, significantly improving San Francisco’s and the Bay Area’s public transportation network. It is expected to open to the public in 2019.”


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  • steven rappolee

    what if?
    we left the boring machine under ground when it reaches little Italy? ( instead of digging a $60 million shaft to retrieve it)
    what if we spend that money over many years to bore a hole out to the presidio and beyond to bring MUNI across the golden gate?