Central Subway on track for completion



The Central Subway’s northern terminus will be located in Chinatown.

Joseph Zuloaga '23, National News Editor

After 11 years of tiring delays and budget issues, the sights and sounds of the bulldozers and heavy machinery on the streets of Downtown San Francisco have now ceased as construction on the MUNI Central Subway system has seemingly achieved “substantial completion” of around 98 percent. 

“We did not know the kind of soil that we were going to run into down here,” stated SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin in regards to the frustrating delays, according to KTVU. 

“We did not know that we would hit an underground river that we would have to contend with. So we knew some things, but we didn’t know everything and that has resulted in about a 15 percent cost overrun.” 

Tumlin highlights that because the new stations and rail lines are among the deepest digs in San Francisco, it led to unexpected problems, delays and cost overruns stemming from the $1.6 billion project.

Mayor London Breed offered a different perspective on the state of the Central Subway while touring the new stations and stated, “The stations are amazing, the elevators the technology.” 

She continued, “Everything came together, and yes, it has been very challenging and many folks have lost patience with this. But, you know what, when you get on those trains it was well worth the wait to do it right.” 

Breed toured the new stations and said the Central Subway will connect the city like never before. 

Caton Deval-Santos ’22 will be one of the many SF citizens who would benefit from the Central Subway. 

“[It] would really help my commute to school.” He added, “As someone who lives downtown near Westfield Mall, the extension of the MUNI Metro would help provide quicker access around the most densely populated areas of the city.” 

“I can’t wait for the central subway to open!” said Mathematics teacher Anne Freeman. “It will help me get around downtown faster.” 

The Central Subway will eventually connect SF’s southeast quadrant to Chinatown and Union Square via the T Third Line and SFMTA says it will be an important piece of the city’s transit system. 

The SFMTA has been running test trains since June and is expected to last at least another six months. As of press time, the SFMTA stated that the subway will be ready for passengers by late spring-early summer of 2022.