Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Central Subway boondoggle

The text below is from a website with a critical approach to the Central Subway Project:, a new San Francisco non-profit organization, has formed to expose the major flaws in the San Francisco Central Subway Project. As the Project inches through its preliminary design phase awaiting a major infusion of federal dollars, misgivings about the Central Subway abound. is determined to expose the flaws in the project before it's too late. By identifying the areas in need of adjustment, hopes it can convince those in a position to improve the project to raise their sights. What's needed is a set of cost-effective transit improvements of genuine value to Muni and its 700,000 daily riders. What is distinctly not needed is a short piece of extraordinally costly subway of marginal usefulness.

The Central Subway has been talked about for over 10 years. It started out as a back-of-an-envelope political promise to a Chinatown group concerned over the loss of the Embarcadero Freeway. Unfortunately the proposal has since evolved into an overly costly extraordinarily deep subway of marginal usefulness. There are three basic problems with the Central Subway plan as envisioned by its sponsor, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

* First, riders would find their trips taking longer by subway than by today's surface bus.

* Second, the transfers from the subway to east-west bus and LRV lines would become less convenient.

* Third, in addition to costing a fortune to build, the subway would substantially increase Muni's operating and maintenance costs, thereby further weakening its shaky financial structure. San Francisco deserves better.

If you share our frustration over the unwillingness of San Francisco's local politicians to eliminate the fatals flaws in the Central Subway project, please help spread the word, and please make your feelings known to your local, State and federal representatives.

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