San Francisco Subway Extension Map (Image Source: sfmta.com)
“One of San Francisco’s most ambitious subway projects finally has funding in place, thanks to budget cutting and an unexpected windfall from the state. The Central Subway project, which will create a new Muni line linking South of Market to Chinatown, has lined up $1.3 billion, officials said this week.”
“City planners won’t start digging the subway tunnels for three years at the earliest. The project is now in its environmental review phase. The environmental impact report was published last week, and the city is hosting community meetings on Oct. 30, Nov. 8 and Nov. 13 to discuss it.
Transit planners are considering three different routes for the subway. Each extends 1.7 miles, but they vary slightly in their alignment between the existing station at Fourth and King streets and the terminus near Stockton and Clay streets.”
S.F. subway project gets full funding [Business Times]
San Francisco’s Proposed Central Subway Overview [sfmta.com]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Bill

    Wait until the Chinatown merchants find out how many years their streets will be torn up for this pork from Pelosi.

  2. Posted by Jamie

    I chalk this up as one of the most retarded ideas ever.

  3. Posted by zig

    what a waste this thing is

  4. Posted by ejay

    1.3 billion for 1.7 miles – and a third of which will not even be underground…what a waste..
    and for what? just to get the moscone conference attendees to the strip bars in north beach?

  5. Posted by fluj

    Not sure why this is being so denigrated. It is not fun to drive to North Beach from (insert location here.)

  6. Posted by anon

    great! now i’ll be able to hop aboard and get some good dim sum in record time!

  7. Posted by Dude

    Agreed with fluj and anon – it’s absolutely fantastic that they’re finally moving forward with this (although I think the dim sum is better in the Richmond or Sunset).
    I realize it won’t be finished for decades and will cost billions, but San Francisco needs subways, especially if we want to keep growing and adding density/people. Are we a “world class city” or a museum? It’s not perfect or a panacea, but a step in the right direction.

  8. Posted by yao

    why is it so short? it seems kinda pointless when the 45 already covers this route in about 10~15 minutes, and goes all the way to northbeach and on to the presido (not just chinatown).

  9. Posted by Gdog

    How cool would it be if BART (i.e. not Muni) created an underground northern line that hit North Beach and the Geary Corridor? It’ll never happen for a million reasons such as cost, fear, protectionism and nimbyism, but it sure would make SF’s public transit less totally unlike European cities.

  10. Posted by anono

    A subway line under Van Ness makes a lot more sense. $1.3 billion (which will likely hit $2+ before all is said and done) is a lot of money to spend to ease the commute to and from North Beach.

  11. Posted by anono

    Also, for any current or former 45 riders, try imagining the chinatown crowd operating at subway speed. The doors would have to stay open for a full minute at each station- and forget the lines, it would be chaos:)

  12. Posted by anon

    maybe they’re easing commute to and from NB because it’s been voted one of nation’s 10 best neighborhoods…(just a thought)
    i like gdog’s idea..if only we could have a real subway system..(wishful thinking)

  13. Posted by ejay

    This project is being denigrated because it is an example of how lame the transportation planners of this city are.
    Don’t get me wrong I am a huge proponent of public transportation – a good public transport system is the backbone of good urban planning.
    But this…come on…1.3 BILLION it will go on record as being the most expensive project as having the highest per mile cost of any subway in the world.
    The problem with the transportation planners is that each project is determined and decided on in a complete vacuum. Why on earth was the T line just not continued down fourth to achieve the same result rather than making it turn onto Embarcadero (which already had trains servicing it) and further clogging the Embarcadero and Market street tunnel.
    Here is an idea – how about spend that money to add an underground line down Geary to terminate at Powell, or down Van Ness, or down Folsom starting in Bernal to Embarcadero – all of which would better serve the idea of transporting people to the financial core of the city rather than shuttling horny business men from Moscone to north beach.

  14. Posted by fluj

    I seem to recall a proposed next phase that goes northwest to the Marina area? Anybody know about that?
    You know, Marin needs some sort of train, underground or otherwise, more than anywhere. You want to talk about a horrific infrastructure. Two roads. 101 and Francis Drake. YUCK. It’ll never happen though. They probably don’t want it, and not enough people live there for the state to care.

  15. Posted by Jamie

    They still call it T-Third? I just call it the extended K these days since that’s more or less what it is.
    I support BRT lanes for the existing bus lines (30, 45, 15, etc.) and close off some streets in Chinatown to non-commercial traffic to clear them up for buses, delivery trucks, and taxis.
    With parts of north beach sliding down, I really question the idea of digging a tunnel up in there. Aren’t we waiting to see which buildings slide down the hills there already?

  16. Posted by fluj

    here here, ejay. But why not continue the Chinatown line northwest, to terminate at Fort Mason? then have it link up with a Van Ness line that goes down to Folsom? Then have that line “T” into a perpendicular line all the way underneath Folsom, from Embarcadero to Bernal?
    naaah. that would make too much sense.

  17. Posted by anon

    god forbid they do anything that makes sense in this city.

  18. Posted by Chris

    As a “soon to be” mission bay resident I am very glad to see this project get funding. Its about time they spent $1.3B on me and my neighbors.
    But seriously, I am sure this line is the first of an expanded subway system throughout the city (over the next 25 years) and will make mission bay and those surrounding areas more resident & business friendly. People will now be able to get to/from these areas much easier.

  19. Posted by Bozo the Clown

    This is a horrendous project. Pork, pork, pork. The last thing that we need in this town is another BAD transit project to steal money/time/priority away from actually having a decent transit system.
    For 1.3 billion (and this thing will double that, no doubt), we could have a world-class BRT system making ALL destinations in the City within 20-30 minutes of one another. What’s more important? Improving transit for hundreds of thousands of people – or appeasing Chinatown merchants still pissed off about the teardown of the Embarcadero freeway?

  20. Posted by anon

    I don’t get it. How does this make any sense at all? I guess if you are Chinese, no need to take the cramped bus to Chinatown. Maybe Chinatown will eventually house a bunch of multimillion dollar condo developments? You never know. Just a thought…

  21. Posted by Delancey

    A key component of this will be to connect the Powell St BART station with Caltrain. The extension to Chinatown is just gravy. Myself, I enjoy the walk to Market St (except for the perpetually skanky bit going under I80), but 10s of thousands of people will be glad to use the bart/caltrain connection every day.

  22. Posted by zig

    since most Chinatown residents are elderly do anyone really they are going to walk down to Clay Street, down some stairs then ride one stop to Powell, walk the 1/4 mile in the pedestrian tunnel back up some stairs? No they are going to keep on riding their local buses
    This subway goes nowhere. It doesn’t go to North Beach. Even if it did the connection to Powell Street is terrible.
    Think about the logistics of this. Who is this for?
    And riding thing thing all the way to Viz Valley would take an hour. They used to simply run an express bus on 101

  23. Posted by zig

    transit planning is 100% political in this city. It has nothing to do with moving people around
    SFMTAs own consultant said this extension was worthless
    Personally a Kearny St subway to my mind would have made more sense also

  24. Posted by Anon

    This project makes sense — it would ease up traffic for Chinatown and bordering Financial District as well as reduce the number of slow as snails buses in Chinatown. Moreover, with the new City College of SF (Chinatown branch) located at Kearny and Washington Sts. proposed to open within a few years, a lot of students can take the subway to class and ease congestion.
    I also agree that Geary corridor should have a subway line. Complain all you want but learn to be grateful for the federal funding so long as you are able to get it!

  25. Posted by Jamie

    Extending Caltrain to the Transbay Transit Center should take care of getting folks downtown from San Jose and up. A walk from Embarcadero station over to the southern tips of Chinatown and North Beach doesn’t take but 10 minutes for a healthy person.
    I agree .. pork, pork, pork

  26. Posted by zig

    take the subway from where? You can walk faster from Montgomery than you can say talking the N to Powell, walking the tunnel up to the Powell/Union Square station in the T, riding that for like 3 blocks to Clay and then walking down the hill
    And to the comment about linking Powell with Caltrain there is a bus that does this faster now. Again with the time entering the portal and the walk in a pedestrian tunnel to actually link to Powell (as this will be a Powell/Union Square stop) I promise you the bus is will be faster

  27. Posted by south park resident

    Does anyone know where or how you can go to the community meetings for this? I looked on the website and there is only one “public” meeting on Nov 15?
    http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mcentral/DraftSupplementalEnvironmentalImpactStatementEnvironmentalImpactReportSEISSEIR.htm

  28. Posted by anon

    This is not where the need is. We need a real north-south line using Van Ness, and we need and East-West line under Geary Blvd. Well, what we really need is a “real” subway system, not the MUNI trams that sometimes slowly rattle through tunnels.

  29. Posted by anono

    “be greatful for the federal funding…”
    Are you serious? That “federal funding” is our tax dollars and this is a huge waste of them. It’s one thing if the Feds want to spend 1.3B doing something useful for the City but this subway is ridiculous- it goes nowhere. There has to be a quicker and cheaper way to speed up the 30/45 bus line than building a multi-billion dollar subway that won’t be operational for at least 10 years.

  30. Posted by ejay

    “Complain all you want but learn to be grateful for the federal funding so long as you are able to get it!”
    The problem here is not being grateful – but rather using that money in a wise way to maximize its potential.
    Yes, this great – the money will (may) cover building this but what about the added cost to the MUNI budget for running it. It will be an added expense for MUNI and since the ridership will not be as expected – MUNI officials will complain that they in further dept…
    And the notion that this connects Powell to CalTrain is ridiculous – this line does not actually connect at Powell – but at Un. Sq. To assume people will ride BART from E. Bay, get out of Powell walk up two blocks to Un Sq, wait for this, then go to CalTrain and catch the train – when in reality all they need to do is ride BART to Millbrae and catch the CalTrain there…
    Let’s call a spade a spade – this is nothing more than political maneuvering and …bacon.

  31. Posted by curmudgeon

    The whole idea of this extension is to create a crossing of the market street subway spine (the “x” plan) so that T third can go straight to Chinatown (and eventually north beach). Think of how much easier it would be for EVERYBODY if we could cross town as easily as we can move up and down Market Street. Gosh, we’d have a real transit system!
    One of the early ideas (but I’m not sure it has survived the “value engineering” of this project) is that the central subway would also provide the link-in near Union Square for the eventual geary subway extension.
    A Geary subway through Cathedral Hill and then surface to the Ocean is by far the most needed rail improvement needed in SF. But the largely useless Third Street extension was chosen first, by Willie, for political reasons. The Central subway is basically “phase 2″ of the T-third project.
    But at least the Central Subway will allow T-Third patrons to get downtown (in the vicinity of Powell) much faster than the current round the Embarcadero route.

  32. Posted by seven

    All I want is to reliably get downtown from the Outer Sunset in under an hour. What I get is pork project that does nothing to address any real transportation issue.

  33. Posted by zig

    sorry everyone for being a ranting serial poster here
    I feel strongly that this project is bad for SF
    Anyhow if you are interested here is an article about the consultants analysis of this project
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/26/BAG5RNPJ5P1.DTL
    SPUR trying to put a good face on and recommending many improvements to make this viable
    A big problem is the Planners, in tying to make the project more cost effective, are making it even more ineffective

  34. Posted by fred

    By the time this is done, a 2/2 in pac hts will be 1.3 Billion!

  35. Posted by Amen Corner

    “Extending Caltrain to the Transbay Transit Center should take care of getting folks downtown from San Jose and up.”
    Agree entirely; what is the status of this? If this is done, I really don’t see much point in the Central Subway project. Or, at the very least, I can see much more sensible things to do, like tunneling up Van Ness.

  36. Posted by John

    SF needs a network of Muni lines, not just the west-east lines we have now.
    Ideally, there need to be a couple of Richmond line (under California and maybe Geary), a Van ness line. A Stockton line connecting Marina or Pier 39 to downtown is not a bad idea.

  37. Posted by redseca2

    On the surface, you could probably simply relocate Chinatown to Mission Bay for 1.3 billion.
    But as some posters point out, this is a necessary, but very expensive next step in SF eventaully having an early 20th century transit system.

  38. Posted by Jane

    My understanding is that this project was part of the compromise that allowed the Embarcadero Freeway to be torn down after the 1989 earthquake–that the Chinatown/North Beach merchants strongly protested the teardown out of concern that tourism in their neighborhoods would be affected. So, yes, this project is a strange short stub of a rail line, but I’ll take it in exchange for the Ferry Building as it is today and hope it is the catalyst for future, more useful, transit extensions.

  39. Posted by anono

    North Beach and Chinatown are successful, tourist packed neighborhoods and are not in need of a multi-billion dollar subway. The embarcadero freeway is already torn down and we don’t need a 20 years late capitulation to neighborhood merchants who haven’t suffered one bit as a result of the freeway loss. The loss of the embarcadero freeway was the only good thing to come out of the ’89 earthquake.

  40. Posted by timkell

    I don’t understand all the complaining about this line.
    Moving here from NY, I was pretty shocked at how terrible the public transportation system is here. Personally, and i think a lot of people share my stance, I have two rules for my commuting:
    1. A three mode limit when choosing public transport. If I have to take four modes or lines to get somewhere, I’m driving.
    2. Buses suck. Avoid them at all costs.
    If I lived in the South Bay and worked in the city, I would probably still drive instead of driving to train, getting on train, getting on N, which from 3rd to Embarcadero is pretty much like a bus, then walking to work. How long would that take and how many variables could extend my commute by an hour? Forget that.
    If this line were in place, I’d have a relatively predictable commute time since I don’t have to deal with traffic lights, etc. anymore.
    The whole Bay Area benefits a lot more if those commuters who are still driving finally decide that public transport will work for them.
    Van Ness line? What good would that do? It would be linked to only the Market/Van Ness station. From a pollution and an economic standpoint, there’s a lot more value in making subways that help commuters who live outside the city than locals. If you live here, you’ve already figured out how to use public transport and you’re dealing with it.
    Subways are built to get people to work, not to play. Van Ness line makes no sense at this point compared to how many people work downtown and commute from outside the city.
    Geary line would be nice though, and THEN maybe a Van Ness line, but I would have Van Ness way down on my priority list.

  41. Posted by tipster

    This is genius, absolute genius.
    First, and foremost, it absolutely preserves Muni’s $1.50 twice per day tax on nearly every Caltrain rider who commutes into the city. With this line, running Caltrain to the downtown is now dead in the water. Will never happen. Exactly what Muni wants and needs, as fare collections here will make up for the essentially nonexistent fare collections on the T line. Not that fare collections are a big part of the budget, but they help. And that T line runs for miles. Most commuters will cough up the $1.50 for a one mile trip.
    2. It offloads some of the busiest bus lines in the city. There is simply no more room to add buses on those Chinatown streets: every 4th vehicle is a jam packed bus. And buses take more skilled operators, and more of them, to move the same number of people than muni trains.
    3. It doesn’t foreclose a Geary line. This project just had to be done first to shut out a caltrain extension.
    4. Newsom’s gang (of whom he is simply the front man), who has been pandering to the Bay View crowd for the last 3 years, and has the gay vote locked up, now puts the city’s powerful Chinese cartel in his pocket. I think Newsom could literally walk down to SF General tomorrow and shoot babies in the premie ward for sport and he’d still win the election. And whomever his gang runs next time is going to win just as big.
    If you are a politician playing chess, and the game is how to extract the most amount of money from taxpayers, while getting them to vote for you, and maintaining power and influence, this was exactly the right move.
    Frankly, the only thing I’m shocked over is that federal money came here at all. Bay area politicians are far too busy with more important matters like resolutions on Turkey to bother with securing funding for our needs. They trade dollars for votes by politicians in the rest of the country on “resolutions”, so our dollars get sent to the rest of the country in return for representatives from other areas of the country voting for nonbinding resolutions on environmental issues and the like that bay area voters can’t get enough of.
    Politicians are NOT rewarded for doing the thing that makes the most fiscal sense. They are rewarded for playing a highly complex game of chess that maximizes the votes, money, power and influence they have. When you think about it from this point of view, this was absolute genius.

  42. Posted by Frank C

    I thought the Richmond residents hate an underground Muni line because of the digging? I thought it was a nonstarter, and that BRT has been chosen as the sell because it’s less disruptive (not to mention less costly since Geary is long)

  43. Posted by Jamie

    I posted the info. about the meetings on my blog (gratuitous posting of my non-commercial URL here): http://www.rinconhillsf.org/2007/10/26/131
    Right now, they don’t have the funding in place to extend CalTrain from 4th and Townsend over to the new Transbay Transit Center (along with some technical issues, like the need for trains that can go underground without exhausting CO2 or other really bad fumes into tunnels). I think the estimated price tag is around $2 billion or so (maybe more once they realize the water table in Mission Bay/South Beach is dicey at best, providing a tunnel flood risk).
    I cannot believe that extending Caltrain to Transbay is a dead duck because, set aside the idea of the high speed rail for a few minutes, I cannot imagine them building a Transbay Transit Center for just bus services (granted the property tax incentive is huge too).

  44. Posted by james

    i like the idea of us building a new subway, which this could be the first phase. why it stops at columbus is a mystery to me however. make it go from caltrain to downtown as planned for all our commuting brethren and then to fishermans wharf for all our tourists. everybody will be happy.

  45. Posted by anon94123

    “I cannot imagine them building a Transbay Transit Center for just bus services”.
    Want to bet? I have been doubtful about the whole Transbay thing from the beginning. Not that this is not an attractive idea, but unlike Chicago or Paris or London, our transit systems are not regional the way other cities are. MUNI is not interested in the success of Caltrain or Bart except for how it benefits them. I have heard that not only is high speed rail dead, but the caltrain extension as well. I think Tipster’s comments are worth reading again for they paint a pretty good picture of why they are building this first and how it benefits Newsom.
    “This project just had to be done first to shut out a caltrain extension.”

  46. Posted by Amen Corner

    “make it go from caltrain to downtown as planned for all our commuting brethren and then to fishermans wharf for all our tourists”
    There are already Muni tracks to do this along The Embarcadero. Of course, in its infinite wisdom, Muni makes you change from the T or J to F to do this.

  47. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I bet this line gets 50,000 passengers a day. This is the start of a long overdue cross town tunnel. This is just the first phase of the buildout, eventually it will run from the Marina to the far end of China Basin.

  48. Posted by Henry

    This is the worst kind of pork ever. It doesn’t even really benefit the ones who it’s for — there was a study done to compare the travel times before/after Visitacion Valley to Chinatown, and it only cut a few minutes off.
    A few minutes off for $1.3B?
    As for those who say that it doesn’t impact other potential projects (e.g., Geary and BRT) — the hell it does. Look up the definition of opportunity cost and then you’ll understand.
    Matt Smith of SF Weekly has done a pretty darn good job at tracking this nonsense over the last 4 years.
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2007-01-03/news/porkmistress-pelosi/full
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2003-12-10/news/subwaylaid/full
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2006-02-01/news/clang-clang-clang-went-the-new-subway/

  49. Posted by Can't think of cool name

    Amen Corner – It’s my understanding that there will be a Muni “E” line put in next year, that runs from CalTrain to Fisherman’s Wharf, using the above-ground existing track immediately to the right of where the T-Third/N-Judah dives underground just north of the Folsom stop to connect the two locations. The “E” and “F” lines will use the same track between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero.
    Also, there are plans to extend the “E” line from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Presidio, by continuing westbound, and where needed, using old and existing track (note the tunnel that exists, but baracaded at Fort Mason right by the Safeway),
    Of course, these are “plans,” and you know what that means…

  50. Posted by Palms_Rezzy

    This line is going to be great!

  51. Posted by Mole Man

    This sounds like a great plan. It connects the Third Ave Rail (Third Rail?) to the rest of the system and provides a route to and from Chinatown for commuters and tourists that can later be extended farther. The political influence of Chinese in Chinatown needs to be acknowledged and should not be considered some kind of power play plot. You can ask your representatives for specific things also, if you want. Good luck with that.

    The objections that are coming up seem to be baseless. The cost is high because that is what this and other similar alternatives cost with modern construction and materials. Come up with something as good that is cheaper and leaders might go with it. I didn’t think so.

    The route is also kind of a no-brainer. The transportation hub there is along 4th ave, it connects to the 3rd ave system and goes up to Chinatown where actual taxpayers have demanded transportation and are willing to work with the system to solve the problem (rationality oh the shock and horror). Others are saying Van Ness? Give me a break! No one wants anything to do with Van Ness. No one wants to be on Van Ness at Market or on any other intersecting street. Trying to make Van Ness worthy of a transportation corridor now after years of it festering.

    The other actual objections, not the political gamesmanship and posturing that move ad rags, are the lack of bus compatibility (who cares) and the high trains. Oddly enough any problems of access with high trains can be solved with special platforms as done in exotic locales like Sao Paulo and San Jose. Of course we don’t expect the same kind of effective thinking in SF that one sees in SJ (how things change), but there you go. It is kind of ironic that the high floor access problem is also shared by busses that advisor genious wants in the tunnels, but apparently being a politically oriented analyst precludes making the connection that high floor access might be an issue for all forms of transportation making use of the tunnels.

    Unless the naysayers can come up with better plans for moving people and work with politicians to make them happen then they will fail. Progress continues and these plans address the issues better than any alternatives.

  52. Posted by Henry

    Mole Man,
    There are bigger needs in our transportation system than this porker. This subway doesn’t fix anything, and that’s the big problem.
    Commuting to Chinatown? Aside from the fact that only a small percentage of people need to do that (and that I’m LOLing on that statement), it doesn’t fix the problem — the commute time from VV is pretty much the same. Yes, we’re getting a subway that is not substantially faster than the BUSES that are running today.
    Furthermore, it doesn’t really connect to anywhere. All the changes requested by Chinatown to the project have made it pretty much unconnectable to any lines that could conceivably feed into this system from other parts of the city.
    Sure, let’s have one small group completely screw the rest of the city. Oh, that’s just politics as usual. Silly me.
    This plan is a dead end — it doesn’t do anything to solve any of the basic issues with MUNI. Above and beyond the 1.3B it takes to build, the ridership projected isn’t going to cover the maintenance of the line.
    Guess where that money is going to come from? It’s certainly not coming from our social services budget.
    It’s going to come straight out of our pockets.

  53. Posted by anon

    What a waste. With muni performance as it is, it will be faster to walk.

  54. Posted by Leningrad

    This is great! wonderful!! we’re actually expanding public transportation. Yes, it’s great for me to go directly to Chinatown from Mission Bay; but it’s also good for all of Mission Bay, UCSF, 3rd Ave. residents, Chinatown, eventually North Beach, and everyone in between.
    It never ceases to amaze me that whatever is proposed in San Francisco, immediately everyone is against it- buildings, towers, condos, BRT, parking, subways, homeless plans, housing, high speed rail, trans-bay transit center, whatever. No wonder San Francisco is the most dysfunctional city on the planet.
    Just for comparison, in the early 90’s Shanghai didn’t have a subway, now there are 5 separate lines (95 stations) 6 lines under construction; and by 2020 there will be 18 (maybe 22) different lines. I guess when you decide something…or maybe they know how to deal with opposition.
    This T-line expansion plan is in place, the funding is there-now lets build it. If you have a better idea, then build consensus around it for some other project and work on funding it and deal with everyone who will be against it.
    What a great expansion for MUNI. If it’s pork-I love bacon.

  55. Posted by pica1986

    “Amen Corner – It’s my understanding that there will be a Muni “E” line put in next year, that runs from CalTrain to Fisherman’s Wharf, using the above-ground existing track immediately to the right of where the T-Third/N-Judah dives underground just north of the Folsom stop to connect the two locations. The “E” and “F” lines will use the same track between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero.”
    Is this true? The Muni train is actually going to share tracks w/ the F-Line streetcars? Aside from the fact that the old streetcars generally travel unbelievably slow, take forever at passenger stops while the tourists dig for correct change, and seem to break down every 50 feet, how on earth is that going to work?

  56. Posted by Jamie

    They certainly have passenger loading spots already built into the Folsom/Embarcadero, Brannan/Embarcadero, 2nd/King, and Caltrain stops for a line running street cars. I often have to direct folks who think the current Muni metro trains are going to pick them up there on the outside of the tracks to walk around to the raised platform between the tracks if they want to board a Muni metro line to go somewhere.

  57. Posted by Henry

    “Just for comparison, in the early 90’s Shanghai didn’t have a subway, now there are 5 separate lines (95 stations) 6 lines under construction; and by 2020 there will be 18 (maybe 22) different lines. I guess when you decide something…or maybe they know how to deal with opposition.”
    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that someone with the moniker “Leningrad” is touting a Communist totalitarian regime as a bright, shiny example of what we should do.
    I’m all for better public transportation — Geary BRT should be top of the list — but this is absolutely the wrong project and a big waste of money.

  58. Posted by Leningrad

    relax Henry, I just used Shanghai (having been there several times) as an example of what we could do if we wanted. I support Geary BRT, but there is quite a lot of opposition to that too.
    As for Leningrad, it’s just a reminder to me that I don’t live full time in Mission Bay (my legal residence is Leningrad). But feel free to call me a Chinese Communist, after all the money I invested in China is buying my condo; but doesn’t that make me a Chinese Capitalist? now I’m confused, and we’re way off topic.

  59. Posted by ex SF-er

    “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that someone with the moniker “Leningrad” is touting a Communist totalitarian regime as a bright, shiny example of what we should do.”
    I’m with Leningrad… Communist totalitarian or not, it wouldn’t hurt to actually DO something about public transportation…
    I agree with others, I’m not loving this line. however maybe if they do this it can start the gears turning to do SOMETHING else later on.
    Sometimes I’m just relieved that ANYTHING happens in this town. My gosh
    SF wants owning a car to be difficult (can’t allow those buildings to have parking for their tenants) but then it doesn’t supply adequate public transport.
    We must choose: adequate public transportation, or go the route of LA and build infrastructure around the automobile. You have to have one or the other, but SF has been choosing neither. Time to start acting like the “world class city” that so many claim we are.

  60. Posted by Henry

    Isn’t Leningrad back to its old name St. Petersburg? Anyway, I just think it’s funny when someone is asking “they know how to deal with opposition” when it comes to Communist China.
    It’s called jailing and executing them.
    As for ex-SFer, doing something for the sake of “doing something” doesn’t mean it’s the right thing. It’s a lot of money for nothing. There are other projects that MUNI has in the pipeline that should be higher priority.
    That being said, I’m all for spending money on MUNI — IF (and that’s a big IF), we cut the fat out of our annual budget largess.
    Better yet, let’s hold our budget steady and have each department battle it out in a deathmatch to see who gets what funds. I’m all for taking money out of our excessive social programs and putting it into infrastructure.
    But we can’t do both. Unless we start taxing renters (now that’s great idea there — feel the pain the rest of us feel).

  61. Posted by anontransbayconfused

    So the new Transbay Terminal will be for bus traffic only and now Caltrain or Bart?

  62. Posted by observer

    Wow this got more comments than a Ricon v Infinity new story :-)
    I’m not sure about all the politcal talk, but good to see another transit option for Mission Bay, do think that this kills CalTrain to the TransBay terminal and perhaps instead of running this to Chinatown perhaps a detour to the TransBay terminal would be good, since my understanding is no actually Muni lines are planned for it…

  63. Posted by Jamie

    There’s talk of providing an underground connection between the new Transbay Transit Center and the Montgomery Street or Embarcadero BART/Muni Metro station… nothing I’ve seen written about it though.

  64. Posted by zig

    if we were in Shanghai or Moscow (or Paris) we might actually get some comprehensive non political transit planning but I’ll digress
    This project as it is, is functional at least, if they can build that Washington Square station (this is huge for ridership and crosstown connection to other bus lines) and the extension on Powell. These were both not in the original iterations. Pressure has made this plan better though I think those might be the 20 years from now Phase III improvements
    One station at Clay and one between Union Square and Powell spatially is not very useful for riders.
    If transit money wasn’t so hard to come by most of us likely wouldn’t care. When you are looking at your subway for the next 20 years in SF and this is what they choose because of politics it is aggravating.

  65. Posted by MasonStreet

    O.k.,
    Don’t flame me, I am one of those folks that works in the southbay and choose to live in the city (lets face it socket site, a lot of the wealth in the region is generated in the southbay, and I did give up my car completely when I moved).
    I can ride my bike from the chinatown hills (nob hill/chinatown border) to Caltrain in 7 minutes like clockwork. If I take the ’45/30′, which runs ‘every 5 minutes’, I have to allocate 35-40 minutes to make the train. Reason: not frequency, not traffic. It is the shear number and type of people that ride the bus. Get one crush loaded, and it takes 5 minutes a stop (and all the buses behind it back up). Get a disabled/elder person and even if it isn’t loaded, it takes 5 minutes at the first stop, and all the next stops are crush loaded.
    There is no reliable way to get from north of the stockton tunnel to caltrain right now. BRT, more buses, better loading zone enforcement will not help. The only way to deal with this is a train that dings and leaves if you aren’t onboard.
    Chinatown, the ‘chinatown hills’, and north beach are some of the most densely packed areas of the city with thousands upon thousands of units with no parking. Right now they are occupied by very ederly chinese who don’t drive. In 10 years this will be ground zero for the in-city and silicon valley tech crowd and this subway line will make that happen. This is as much for the chinatown shop owners as it is for the chinatown landlords, and from a land use perspective it might not be half bad.

  66. Posted by Gregory

    A few of the comments here are spot on.
    Unfortunately, many of remainder are the usual short-sighted complaints.
    Eventually, over time, each of these will probably occur:
    -Subway connecting Mission Bay with Chinatown and North Beach.
    -Light-rail or subway along the Geary/Clement corridor.
    -A crosstown Van Ness subway line.
    -BART to San Jose.
    -CalTrain to the Transbay Terminal.
    -A NorCal/SoCal bullet train.
    All of these are part of the greater, long-term transit and economic picture for SF.
    The longer these infrastructure improvements are delayed, the more they will eventually cost.
    It’s a shame that many people lack the foresight and wherewithal to plan for the future. And usually all in the name of immediate profit and gratification over long-term sustainability.
    Cheers

  67. Posted by anonandon

    “Speaking of weight, this project’s a porker. According to a 1998 Muni report, by 2015 the Central Subway project would increase transit ridership along its route by 5 percent over existing bus service. That’s a cost of $213,000 up front per additional rider, not counting a $4 million-per-year total increase in operating costs over the current bus service”
    From SFWeekly article posted earlier above.
    I will not say “I told you so” regarding the Transbay Terminal being nothing more than a new bus station, but what a shame the politics could have been taken out and a true regional hub could have been built with a north-south line as part of its design. Regarding “Bullet trains” and other future transportation, sure they will get built, but will they even come into San Francisco city limits? More likely a regional high speed rail network will terminate in Oakland, SFO, or San Jose. Don’t believe me? Just go read their website. Wishing something will happen does not make it so in a city that continues to allow the South Bay & Southern California to inherit its one time economic importance. Geary or Van Ness would have been much better for the majority of people in the city.

  68. Posted by BernalDweller

    What no one seems to be addressing here is that there are a hell of a lot of city dwellers that would really welcome the ability to connect via train to North Beach/Chinatown, either from the east (I’m in the FiDi…let’s go to Chinatown or North Beach) or the west (get downtown, then go north…what a concept!). Let’s face it…NO ONE wants to drive to North Beach or Chinatown). I think this line is fantastic…it connects the hugely growing population of South Beach/Mission Bay via rail to North Beach/Chinatown, and everyone else can connect, too. It also introduces the eventual connection to points further north (Marina). I say build it.

  69. Posted by Can't think of cool name

    I just think of the coordination that will be needed at 4th and King during morning and evening commute times with people running from every direction (not to mention the trains criss-crossing the intersection) to catch a CalTrain from a Muni train and visa versa. That is going to be one ugly and potentially dangerous intersection.

  70. Posted by james

    say what you will guys but those of that live along the line as proposed all want it. it’s reverse nimby. we are tired of the 45 minute wait to get out of downtown on any train. we are tired of the thug third line that will get your pockets picked. we are tired of needing a car to get to anywhere the n judah doesn’t serve today. this is pure goodness and finally gives folks that moved to the the city in the last 7 years a chance to give up their cars.

  71. Posted by Brutus

    James,
    None of us are opposed to subways. Some of us are opposed to this subway in its proposed form. Reliable estimates (even those from Muni) show only a one to two minute decrease in average commute time over the entire length of the line. That’s pathetic for $1.3 billion! It’s not the concept that sucks – it’s the design.

  72. Posted by fluj

    Can we stop quoting the $1.3B figure as if it is anathema? It’s paid for. We cannot and do not build public works cheaply in this country. The reasons for this reality are too numerous for this site’s bandwidth to contain.
    This is a good thing. And hopefully, only the beginning …

  73. Posted by Doug

    1.3B is NOTHING. I can’t believe the complaints on here about the 1.3B expense. The 2nd avenue subway line in NY is estimated at 16B and many parts of the tunnel have already been built.

  74. Posted by zig

    “1.3B is NOTHING. I can’t believe the complaints on here about the 1.3B expense”
    This subway is going to be 3 stations of a streetcar running underground. Also it is 1.7 billion now which we know will go higher. Many consider this one of the most expensive subway projects ever
    The 2nd avenue subway is like 17 underground stations and a real subway
    Congress had to exempt this project from its own cost benefit analysis requirements for transit funding because it is so abysmal by Muni’s own estimates. Legislation was actually written for Pelosi that reads that this gets an exemption
    I can understand if you live on this line why you would think it great and I also understand why people would think at first glance this is what we need….
    but it is not a project based on a real transit needs. LOng time observers know the politics behind this. Geary moves like 70K people per day on crush loaded buses

  75. Posted by zig

    1.4 billion
    my mistake I got that confused with the length

  76. Posted by Brutus

    fluj,
    $700 million is paid for by the Feds. $200 million is from the State. That still leaves $400 million plus that comes from what could go to other projects. Also, this line will drain operational expenses for decades.
    For those of you that think that this is “at least a start”, you’re mistaken. This is the end folks. If this thing gets built (as it likely will), we won’t see another subway in SF for at least 40 years. Our financial capital will be gone locally, our local expenses will continue their out-of-control spiral, and our political capital to snag Federal funds will be wasted for the next two to three decades. Is a three stop subway worth that?
    And please – comparisons to the 2nd Ave subway? The 2nd Ave subway will carry many multiples of passengers per day through five times as many stations – and as zig mentioned, is HEAVY rail. This is a streetcar going through a tunnel, not a heavy rail subway. They build projects nearly identical to this one in Japan for $100 million. (in seismic zones) This is not a “transit” project, but simply political payback and corporate welfare. The sad part is that it will set SF transit back even further than it is now.

  77. Posted by fluj

    Please, let’s not compare the public works projects of other countries to ours. We are not efficient. We have our very own screwed up system with everyone’s hands in everyone’s pockets, and that’s American as apple pie. In France they built the most amazing new bridge for $394M euros.
    http://martinsquest.com/images/longbridge.jpg
    We probably would have paid about six times as much for the Millau Bridge if it were constructed in the Sierras or something.

  78. Posted by Morgan

    “For those of you that think that this is “at least a start”, you’re mistaken. This is the end folks. If this thing gets built (as it likely will), we won’t see another subway in SF for at least 40 years. Our financial capital will be gone locally, our local expenses will continue their out-of-control spiral, and our political capital to snag Federal funds will be wasted for the next two to three decades. Is a three stop subway worth that?”
    Brutus, I just wanted to kick this part of your comment back on this again because I so agree with this statement you wrote. People are acting as if this a “beginning” when as you said it is “an end”. If we only get one new line for the next 25 years (or longer), is this the line we want to build? People need to understand that those of us with concerns are not against public transit, but rather unsure that this is the wise choice for spending rare public transit funds and grants.

  79. Posted by james

    brutus,
    are you telling me that if i walk down to 3rd and king and take this new subway to market or union square, it will only get me to that station 1 to 3 minutes faster than the n judah today? what about coming home at 5pm? are you going to tell me the the same 45 minute delays and daily breakdowns in the tunnel under market will affect this new unconnected line?

  80. Posted by Brutus

    james,
    Actually, what I’m telling you is much worse than that. The fastest route from 3rd & King is not the N-Judah, it’s a 30/45 (if you’re taking the N-Judah from Caltrain to downtown, try the 30/45 – it may be a bus, but it’s much faster than the roundabout loop of the N) – and the one to three minute improvement in speed is for the entire length of the line – as in all the way to Washington. Just going to Market will probably be absolutely zero minutes faster.

  81. Posted by n judah

    bear in mind that this project has been whittled away at for YEARS to try and “make it fit” lower budgets and respond to political pressure.
    there will be only ONE stop in Chinatown and if you’ve ever ridden a 30 stockton you know that will not do a thing to make that commute faster or better.
    there are better ways to spend this money but we have no say in it. The Mayor made that clear at his “town hall meeting” in Chinatown and made sure people knew this money can ONLY be spent on this little project with all its faults, and the TEP be darned.
    oh and fun fact – they are NOT BUYING MORE RAIL CARS to serve this line – so when they start it up, look for cuts in service on the other lines. If you liked the T Line startup you’ll love this morning log.

  82. Posted by Brutus

    fluj,
    Point taken on American inefficiency in public works – however, it should be noted that this is the MOST expensive ESTIMATED cost per mile of streetcar tunnel ever built anywhere – and you know as well as I that the cost will go up as the project proceeds. My question again is – is this the last subway that we want to see built in SF in most of our lifetimes? Because it will be if it happens (which it most certainly will) – this is the end folks, not the beginning.

  83. Posted by n judah

    oh and don’t forget – we ripped out the B Geary line streetcar in 1956 because BART was going to be all the way out to Ocean Beach, and it was determined that having 2 rail lines was “duplication of service” so the 38 bus was in vented (but never inteded to be the workhorse it is today).
    No, really. Read all about it!

  84. Posted by james

    ok, thanks for clarifying brutus. you’re suggesting i ignore the n-judah and take a bus to compare this subway. that’s a little tough to do with a stroller by the way.

  85. Posted by Brutus

    james,
    I’m suggesting you compare the transit that exists on the EXACT SAME ROUTE currently, instead of comparing it to a horseshoe loop. $200 million could buy us a lot of low-floor articulated buses to help with that stroller.
    I only compare buses to subways when the buses are as fast as the subways. That’s what is most pathetic about this thing.

  86. Posted by g

    Why is it that the proposed subway wouldn’t be much faster than the current 30/45 busses? The current busses absolutely crawl through Chinatown and Union Square due to the traffic. Shouldn’t a subway be substantially faster?

  87. Posted by Brutus

    g,
    All of your questions about this boondoggle are answered in this outside audit of the Central Subway:
    http://www.livablecity.org/campaigns/documents/CentSub_LTK.pdf
    It’s not a pretty read.

  88. Posted by james

    why aren’t they considering just putting this thing 100% underground as a real subway, not connected to the disaster that is muni? that way, it could be automated like an airport tram and we wouldn’t need those ass clown muni drivers calling in sick and making 150k a year.

  89. Posted by Brutus

    james,
    Because that would not be “staying the course” and would be thinking outside the box. As I’ve mentioned before, this project has NOTHING to do with creating a good transit project and is all about politics and corporate welfare.
    Your idea (or at least an idea very similar to it) has been brought up by several transit advocates over the past decade – and it’s a good one.

  90. Posted by james

    geary and van ness and 19th avenue should all have underground subways as well, not connected to the mess that is muni. this project could be a turning point to create a new class of transit in this town. think about it. i like the idea of getting to and from moscone for all the conventioners without needing a cab too.

  91. Posted by Towse

    $200 million could buy us a lot of low-floor articulated buses to help with that stroller.
    The problem along the 30/45 line up Stockton is (1) too many passengers and (2) too few buses and (3) the traffic on Stockton that slows down the buses. The Central Subway will fix problem #3.
    I’m hearing a lot of yackyackyack about all the Chinese (why should they be catered to?) who load onto 30/45 in Chinatown and a lot of talk about pork (is it pork when it’s a needed infrastructure expense?) and a lot of whoneedsthislineanyway.
    We need the Central Subway and we’re willing to put up with years worth of construction and the dislocation of a million or two cellar rats (ever heard what happened with rats during the Big Dig?) to get it.
    As Gavin said at the town hall in Chinatown, the federal money has been allocated =for =this =project. Change the project, even change the end point, and the federal dollars have to be reapplied for and we get set back a decade or so. Carry on.
    The current 30/45 setup is a disaster for anyone trying to get from the north to downtown to make a connection west or south. Want to get to the Mission? Take the 30/45 and connect to the 14Mission. Want to get to Japantown or the Fillmore or Kaiser? Take the 30/45 and connect to the 38Geary. Want to get out to the Independent for a show? Take the 30/45 and connect to the 21Hayes.
    Waiting, impatiently, for the Central Subway.

  92. Posted by james

    [Removed by Editor]

  93. Posted by Henry

    Nice going james. Way to paint an entire group of people with a big old broad brush. We’re so progressive here in San Francisco, I see.
    As for servicing “the chinese,” let’s be perfectly clear. It’s not “the chinese” that this project is for — it’s specificially Rose Pak and her crew at the Chinatown Merchants Association. They only represent their interests, and do not speak for the entire population of “the chinese” in San Francisco.

  94. Posted by anon

    James – Great way to offend half the population of San Francisco. Geez. What nationality are you? Where is the Socketsite Nazi…..

  95. Posted by Hawaiian-Asian-American

    I cannot believe that above comment by James. This site should be a dicussion about real estate and not racial ethnic groups.I ride the 38 geary to civic center to work everyday and as far as James is concerned, if he saw me, he would think i’m on way to “buying crap in chinatown.” Sir, i have a huge mortgage and property tax so i don’t have extra money to buy crap, chinese or otherwise.
    I find James’ comments rude and outrageous — which is fine for Socketsite…But racist?!

  96. Posted by zig

    Oh please racist? Insensitive sure but my goodness relax.

  97. Posted by Hawaii-asian-american

    Zig: yes racist. Try substituting Black, Jew or gay instead of chinese.

  98. Posted by Towse

    It’s not “the chinese” that this project is for — it’s specificially Rose Pak and her crew at the Chinatown Merchants Association.
    Actually, this project is specifically for me. I was a princess before the military junta threw my grandfather in the dungeon. I deserve better transit.*
    The Central Subway is not just for Rose Pak and the Chinatown Merchants Association. Most anyone who uses the 30 or the 45 wants transit that avoids the traffic and traffic signals and hassle on Stockton.
    We walk to Stockton Street (and back) to get our vegetables and all that cheap Chinese trinketry at the Stockton Bargain Mart that james thinks is the only reason people ride the bus.
    We take the bus =through= Chinatown to get to our connecting points at Geary/Market to get elsewhere in the City. Transit first, eh? Make the public transit easy to use, on-time (more likely to be on time without the traffic/traffic light tie-ups), and frequent.
    The 30Stockton/45Union-Stockton carry tens of thousands of people a day. Between the two routes, they average ~3K weekday boardings per route mile. The Central Subway will help move those passengers without tying up Stockton in the process.
    The Central Subway is not just for Rose Pak and the merchants. It’s for the tens of thousands of people who jam on board the 30/45 to get to and fro where they need to go.
    *[note: blatant fiction re the princess gig]

  99. Posted by zig

    Hawaii-asian-american are you saying that Chinese immigrants aren’t often pushy and abrupt in the context of our culture?
    Ever been to China? Ever seen a line in China? The further south you are the more its a scrum

  100. Posted by james

    obviously none of you guys have ever ridden the L Taraval!!!
    go do it and report back to us after you are enlightened

  101. Posted by zig

    Towse
    will the central subway, with one stop in Chinatown and another in a tunnel between Market and Union Square serve this Chinese population?
    Where are they going? Spatially this seems odd. Are they going to walk to Clay St., down the stairs to a subway, ride it for 3 blocks to another subway station, then a hundred yards in a tunnel, up another flight of stairs to Powell St? Or maybe they will just continue to ride their local buses?
    Or maybe the elderly Chinese people are riding to their stem cell research jobs?
    Surely the old bus to Vis Valley that ran on 101 is faster than the interminable T ride will be
    The Chinatown connection had nothing to do with the residents and everything to do with the perceived accessibility issues for tourists with the removal of the freeway. These have proved to be non issues but the ship already left the station as they say

  102. Posted by Hawaiian-asian-american

    zig: back to what i posted at 2:03: substitute Black, Jew or gay instead of chinese and say that in polite company. That’s what i said–nothing about going to china, etc. etc.
    [Editor’s Note: And now back to the actual Central Subway project…]

  103. Posted by Towse

    will the central subway, with one stop in Chinatown and another in a tunnel between Market and Union Square serve this Chinese population?
    Where are they going? Spatially this seems odd. Are they going to walk to Clay St., down the stairs to a subway, ride it for 3 blocks to another subway station, then a hundred yards in a tunnel, up another flight of stairs to Powell St? Or maybe they will just continue to ride their local buses?

    I would imagine, most people will catch the Central Subway at Clay (until such time as it is pulled into North Beach and down to Fisherman’s Wharf at which point in time, I’d catch it at a station closest to North Beach) and ride it from Clay-> Sacramento-> California-> Pine-> Bush-> Sutter-> Post-> Geary (a tad more than three blocks, but who’s quibbling …). Get off at the Geary/UnionSquare station and catch the 38Geary =or= continue on to the station at Market and catch any of the Muni routes/BART you can catch from Market.
    One of the options under consideration is having the Chinatown stop at Jackson and Stockton, which would suit me just fine and add an extra two blocks I wouldn’t have to walk to catch a lift downtown.
    Oh, I walk downtown too, usually down Montgomery or Kearny, but when the weather’s bad or if I’m on my way somewhere other than downtown, it makes sense to catch a lift to my connection downtown. Those Muni transfers are gold.
    The Chinatown connection had nothing to do with the residents .
    The Central Subway has everything to do with moving people into and out of North Beach/Chinatown, residents included.

  104. Posted by Zig

    “The Central Subway has everything to do with moving people into and out of North Beach/Chinatown, residents included.”
    Except an examination of the history of this project as well as the MTAs own consultant dispute this
    Believe what you want. Its all about the people

  105. Posted by Brutus

    I would imagine, most people will catch the Central Subway at Clay (until such time as it is pulled into North Beach and down to Fisherman’s Wharf at which point in time, I’d catch it at a station closest to North Beach) and ride it from Clay-> Sacramento-> California-> Pine-> Bush-> Sutter-> Post-> Geary (a tad more than three blocks, but who’s quibbling …). Get off at the Geary/UnionSquare station and catch the 38Geary =or= continue on to the station at Market and catch any of the Muni routes/BART you can catch from Market.
    There isn’t a Geary/Union Square station AND a Market St station. There is one station serving both areas. You might as well walk.
    The 30/45 are busy routes, but studies have shown that this does little to help the 30/45. People aren’t going to get onto a 30/45, then get off to jump on the subway for a few blocks. The equivalent would be building a subway under Geary from Fillmore to Hyde with no stations in between. Sure – it may get some use – but most people would stay on the bus.

  106. Posted by Jamie

    I just hope they can collect bus fares from folks, regardless of whether it is a surface bus or a subway.

  107. Posted by Towse

    There isn’t a Geary/Union Square station AND a Market St station. There is one station serving both areas. You might as well walk.
    Depends on which alternative SFMTA chooses. The Enhanced EIS/EIR Alignment alternative has a station at 3rd and Jessie (effectively 3rd/Kearny/Market).
    If SFMTA opts for the one of the Fourth/Stockton Alignment options, taking the subway and walking a block or two from Stockton/Geary/O’Farrell to Market — if I need to catch the 14 or 21 or BART or a Muni line — still beats the heck out of poking along Stockton in a 30/45.
    The 30/45 has a noticeable pattern of where people get on and where they get off en masse. Loads of passengers are connecting with the 38/38L and or finding a transportatin connection at Market. For them, catching the Central Subway in lieu of the 30/45 will be a no brainer.
    The 30/45 are busy routes, but studies have shown that this does little to help the 30/45. People aren’t going to get onto a 30/45, then get off to jump on the subway for a few blocks.
    More than a few blocks … People will get on the Central Subway in lieu of riding the 30/45 altogether, especially if Fourth/Stockton Alignment Option B sets the Chinatown station at Washington, else why is SFMTA expecting to be able to eliminate the 30-short line and reduce the frequency of the 30-long line?

  108. Posted by anonfedup

    So, this isn’t REALLY a subway, but a tram that uses a tunnel for a portion of the journey, But this tram will not be from new rolling stock, but taken from lines that are already underserved. What a city!
    I just finished showing a French-Swiss couple around the Bay Area and they were shocked at the poor state of Muni. As an American, I almost got the impression from them that they looked at some of their S.F. experiences as Third World. I am in my 40’s and never thought I would feel embarrassed for my city or country but I did at times. (They wanted to know how long the “express train” would take to get them to visit Palo Alto!? I explained the express train was my CAR and 280) As someone who goes back and forth between here and Europe about 5 times a year for work and family, I have seen over time how our public infrastructure is falling apart while theirs is being rebuilt with impressive speed and technology.
    We talk about high speed trains as if they are being built, when in fact there is NO funding, No decided plan, and they are not even going to come into the city according to Transbay planners. Ride the Heathrow Express to find out how London got people to not drive to the airport. If we had such a system in place I would sell my car, but as long as we have the current mess, I am going to continue to drive most places for safety and convenience.

  109. Posted by james

    i’ll second that anon. i hosted some execs from the japanese mta authority a couple of years back. they literally laughed at muni and admitted to me how our muni is known around the world as the biggest joke in mta circles. how sad is that?

  110. Posted by spencer

    Isn’t the need for an east top west line across the city (geary) much stropnger than a SOMA line. That whole line is easily walkable. Crosstown transportation is terrible. Right now, BART is only useful for the Mission and the Bridge and Tunnel crowd.
    i live in pac heights and it takes me 35 min to get downtown. People who live in Oakland can get there faster. I can’t imagine how long it takes for those in the richmond to get downtown.

  111. Posted by spencer

    this is clearly for tourist use and not for actual residents of the city.

  112. Posted by Zig

    This line is clearly for elderly Chinese to get to their Stem Cell research jobs

  113. Posted by Brutus

    This line is clearly for elderly Chinese to get to their Stem Cell research jobs
    Actually, it’s for stem cell researchers to have an easy way to get to places to buy Transamerica Pyramid snow globes. These people have needs.

  114. Posted by fluj

    If you live in Pac Heights doesn’t the 41 Union Express bus take you to the Financial District with no stops past Union and Van Ness?

  115. Posted by james

    zig, that is the most racist thing i’ve ever read. i’m so offended that you owe me a million dollars.
    lol!

  116. Posted by anon

    What is it with picking on the Chinese? Get a life. Socketsite Nazi, where are you?

  117. Posted by zig

    hey anon perhaps you missed that this line goes to CHINATOWN

  118. Posted by anon

    No, I didn’t miss that. I also didn’t miss your comments about the elderly chinese stem cell researchers nor did I miss your comments about the pushy Chinese. Geez..I’m laughing like crazy. Not.

  119. Posted by james

    i started the thread on the chinese and i’m sorry. i was trying to make a joke after someone said this project was just about chinatown. i tried to make light of the plethora of elderly chinese that crowd the l taraval, n judah and geary lines every morning during the commute to get to chinatown for their day of shopping. i wasn’t trying to offend anyone. i’ve been on these routes and read plenty of other folks accounts of the lack of any sort of politeness to get on and off these crowded cars. can we get back to discussing the subway again now?

  120. Posted by anon

    Thank you James for apologizing. Yes, let’s move on.

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