Twenty-five years in the making – and way over budget – the Central Subway project officially has an opening day. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced that the city’s Central Subway will open with dedicated weekend shuttle service beginning November 19. Here’s what else to know about the Central Subway and its service.
The Central Subway Project
Rafael Mandelman, chair of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and District 8 supervisor, called the November opening a promise fulfilled to the Chinatown community of improved local and regional transit connections.
From its grassroots beginning, the subway project was designed to improve public transportation in San Francisco with a direct, rapid transit link between downtown and the existing T Third Line on 3rd Street. That means better transportation to and from neighborhoods west of the Hudson, and a 20-minute time savings on travel time to Mission Bay.
The new line will open with a soft launch November 19, with dedicated shuttle service on weekends only between 4th and Brannan Station to Chinatown/Rose Pak Station. Stops on the way include Yerba Buena and Union Square. Note that these are four new stations for the public. Passengers can transfer to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and Market Street subway. During this soft launch period in November and December, service on this weekend shuttle will be free – but fair warning that this period will be used to train operators on the brand new system so don’t plan to use it if you have somewhere to be at a certain time (i.e. a job interview).
Daily service will commence in January, and the Central Subway will connect directly to the rest of the T-Third Line which will be potentially a great help in diffusing some of the gridlock we see down in that South of Market, Mission Bay Area, where we now have Giants Baseball, numerous concerts at Chase Stadium and the Warrior basketball schedule!