To Improve Transit Quality, 2 Supervisors Propose Breaking Up SFMTA

To Improve Transit Quality, 2 Supervisors Propose Breaking Up SFMTAPhotos: Courtesy of SFMTA/Flickr
Teresa Hammerl
Published on December 07, 2017

As the Chronicle reported yesterday, the Central Subway's main contractor claims that the $1.6 billion project won't be completed any earlier than 2021—a year after the city's expected completion date, and three years later than the original target.

Contractor Tutor Perini Corporation also notes that the project will be tens of millions of dollars over budget.

In a report the contractor published for the Board of Supervisors, it noted that infrastructure delays are to blame for the later date. Because Tutor Perini was asked to relocate power lines near the Central Subway's Chinatown station, at least 15 months were added to the project timeline, it claimed.

Phase 1 and 2 and of the T-Third expansion | IMAGE: SFMTA

Along an 1.7-mile stretch starting at the Caltrain station at 4th and King streets and extending into Chinatown, four new T-Third line stations will be constructed:

  • A 4th and Brannan street-level station
  • An underground station with exits at Yerba Buena/Moscone Center and 4th and Folsom streets
  • An underground station at Union Square on Stockton street
  • An underground station at Stockton and Washington streets

"The good news is that we believe we have stopped the continued slippage of the schedule and can now work to make up the lost time," SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose told us in July.

But if the Central Subway isn't completed by 2019, the Golden State Warriors' new arena in Mission Bay, the Chase Center, wouldn't get a direct subway connection to Union Square. The venue is on track to open in time for the 2019-2020 season.

Earlier today, the Examiner also reported that two Supervisors announced their own proposal for the future of the city's transit agency.

District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin and District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai may introduce a June 2018 ballot measure to split the SFMTA into Muni and a separate agency that handles parking and traffic management.

The proposal would give supervisors the ability to make their own appointments to the SFMTA’s Board of Directors. Currently, that power is held only by the mayor.

"A proposal to split back apart parking and traffic management from Muni, I think, would be a big step backwards," SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin told the Examiner.

The proposal would essentially reverse 1999's Proposition E, which merged agencies together into today's SFMTA after the "Muni Meltdown," a service crisis in the summer of 1998.