San Francisco’s Central Subway Opens

The SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) says its 1.3 mile long Central Subway (originally called the Chinatown Subway) is scheduled to begin commercial operations on January 7, 3023.

The project is now officially four years late and $400 million over budget. (In 2003 San Franciscans voted for a Chinatown Subway project that was to cost $647 million and be completed by 2009. In 2012 the price was raised to an FTA-approved total of $1.578 billion, with a new completion date of December, 2018 established. Since 2012 the projected cost of the project, now four years behind the 2018 completion date, has risen to over $2 billion. In the process the MTA’s effect on Muni operating costs has gone from the promised $23.9 million a year saved to “$25 million a year added”.*

The fact that the project has massively overrun its budget is no longer a secret. What still seems unknown is exactly how the $400 million debt is to get paid off. No matter what the answer turns out to be, it’s the San Francisco taxpayer who going to get burned.

*Source:  Western Observer, December 6, 2022

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