Monday, July 04, 2011

Central Subway: How much will it cost?

Unfortunately, the Central Subway boondoggle is a done deal. It's another one of those major projects---like the Bicycle Plan---that  voters citywide never had a chance to vote on. They're going to get it, Whether They Like It Or Not! Today's story in the Bay Citizen explores the political origins of the project, the Willie Brown/Rose Pak deal. For once Tom Radulovich is right with his comment:

“Did it happen? Nobody knows but Rose and Willie. But even if it did, who cares?” said Tom Radulovich, a member of the BART board who has criticized the project. These stories are “really compelling to people who want the project built.”

To his credit, Radulovich is the only elected official in San Francisco opposed to this dumb project.

The only question now is, How much is it going to cost San Francisco? According to to the SFCTA's budget---see the graphic above---the price tag for SF is $123,975,000. That money isn't from property taxes; it's from the special Prop. K sales tax for transportation projects.

Keep in mind too that these big rail projects have on average 40% cost overruns, so tack on another $50 million to the price tag.

Note too in the graphic that the city is supposed to get $27 million from Prop. 1A---the high-speed rail bonds---that will be spent on the downtown terminal because the HSR trains are supposed to use it some day. City Democrats are in deep denial on this, but it will never happen. The California HSR project is on the verge of collapse and will never be built.  

$123 million is a lot of money that should be spent paving our streets. Instead, City Hall will try to convince city voters to pass a special bond in November to do that, which will cost the city millions in interest until the bonds are paid off. Borrowing money for operational expenses! San Francisco may be very green, but we're also deep in the red. Color us green and red.

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