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New study for San Francisco Central Subway

Image credit: SFMTA

Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation, has awarded nearly USD82m for construction of the Muni Central Subway light rail line in San Francisco. The 2.7km (1.7-mile) addition to Muni’s T Third line will run from the Caltrain commuter rail depot at 4th and King Streets to Chinatown, and is anticipated to cater for 42 400 passengers/day by 2030.

Voters authorised the funding through Proposition 1B, a 2006 bond measure that ring-fenced USD19.9bn for over 1000 transit projects across the state of California.

Meanwhile, a new study released by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Transportation Authority has suggested that an extension of the Central Subway to the north-eastern waterfront could attract an additional 40 000 passengers per day – and compete well for federal funding on initial cost/benefit analyses.

Although either agency would not be drawn on timescales, the study suggests that the project could cost anywhere between USD367m and USD1.4bn, depending on how much sub-surface alignment is required, to construct a North Beach station and extend the tracks from the new Chinatown station to Fisherman’s Wharf.