By Luke Thomas
September 8, 2011
With a growing need for efficient and cost-effective public mass-transit systems, City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera today released a critical analysis of San Francisco’s Central Subway project.
Citing design flaws, ballooning construction costs, anticipated cost overruns and impacts to an overstretched Muni budget, Herrera concludes, “On the basis of compelling evidence – and after discussions with project proponents and opponents alike – I have concluded that the Civil Grand Jury is correct in its assessment that the Central Subway should be redesigned.”
A Civil Grand Jury report entitled “Central Subway: Too Much Money for Too Little Benefit” published July 7, corroborates Herrera’s findings in its conclusion stating the Central Subway project “should be redesigned.”
With initial capital cost projections estimated in 2003 at $647 million, the project cost has risen to $1.6 billion in 2011. The project – which will extend the Muni-T line via new stations at Fourth and Brannan streets, Moscone Center, Union Square and Chinatown – does not connect with BART or Muni services on Market Street. Passengers would have to walk “three football field lengths” to connect to BART and Muni services at Powell and Market streets, Herrera’s report highlights.
Moreover, because of cost overruns, engineers have been forced to cut corners on station designs, reducing platform lengths and thereby limiting passenger capacity to trains that do not exceed 200 feet in length.
“In the final analysis, the evidence is persuasive that we must honestly reassess our commitment to a deeply flawed Central Subway project – and that we should do so before it turns into a fiasco every San Franciscan regrets,” Herrera states.
Read Herrera’s report, here.