Over the next few weeks, the SFMTA will be holding a few public meetings on the Central Subway, a project which would extend the T-Third in a subway tunnel through South of Market and Union Square, terminating in Chinatown. Once the tunnel is completed, T-Third trains would proceed north from the 4th and King/Caltrain stop, rather than traveling around the Embarcadero to enter the Market Street subway, as they do now. The subway extension is only 1.7 miles long but is estimated to cost between $1.2 and 1.4 billion, an astronomical price tag to be partially covered by federal matching funds.
Despite the MTA’s gushing words of praise for the subway, the actual transit benefit that will be derived from this terribly expensive project is questionable. This is a topic that deserves fair and detailed treatment, so the Central Subway will be the subject of future posts. For now, though, I just want to encourage interested readers to attend one of the upcoming meetings, to voice concerns and learn more about the project:
Union Square/South of Market Community Meeting
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard Street (between 4th and 5th Streets)
Chinatown/North Beach Community Meeting
Thursday, November 8, 2007 (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)
Gordon J. Lau Elementary School
950 Clay Street (between Stockton and Powell Streets)
Central Subway Community Advisory Group Meeting
Tuesday, November 13, 2007 (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
1 South Van Ness Avenue
Third Floor Conference Room
My usual offer applies: if anyone plans on attending one of these sessions and is interested in meeting up to talk transit over a beer or bite to eat after the meeting, feel free to drop me a line.