Friday, July 22, 2011

The Other California Rail Boondoggle: San Francisco's Central Subway

We've been focused on the ongoing disaster known as the High Speed Rail Project for a while now, but it's important to remember that it's not the only ongoing train-related money pit in California these days. Over at Cal Watchdog, we're reminded of yet another train gone wrong: the Central Subway project in San Francisco.

Back in 2003, Nancy Pelosi was able to bring about $100 million in Congressional earmarks back to the city by the Bay. This "seed money" from Washington was then matched by San Francisco taxpayers, and the idea of the Central Subway was born. In theory, it's supposed to run about 1.7 miles from AT&T; Park to Chinatown. In practice, a grand jury has recently blasted Muni for blowing through hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it wasted; neighborhoods and streets have been ripped through, much of the city's bus system has been ruined, and when completed, the Central Subway will actually isolate passengers from BART, city buses, and ferries. In 2003, the line was supposed to cost $648 million and be finished in 2011; now, it's expected to cost $1.58 billion and be done by 2019. Maybe. Moreover, if you're a regular on the Muni, those service cuts you've noticed in the past three years are a result of over $230 million the transit authority has lost, mostly because of deferred construction activities on the Subway.

Fortunately, many city residents have begun agitating for abandoning the project. Unfortunately, no one in San Francisco's government cares, and this massive waste of money is moving forward.


  1. no one in San Francisco's government cares

    I sense a pattern.

  2. Unless it's about goldfish, circumcision, ex-cons' rights, or obesity, you're correct.