More time for Muni talks

In regards to Central Subway media events, taxpayers should hold on to their wallets and purses when SFMTA management and politicians congregate. Developers are trying to ramrod the subway into North Beach’s and the Waterfront’s prime real estate.

EXAMINER: “From Readers”, June 17, 2014

Muni drivers deserve better
Net wage cuts would offend anyone, not just Muni operators—especially when The City has copious revenue, proposes the largest San Francisco budget in history and gives tax breaks to rich companies in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Because of the Central Subway’s costly $595 million in matching state and local funds, Muni has cut service, eliminated bus lines, shortened routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs, switchbacks, fares, fees, fines and meters—while blaming Muni operators for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s own financial hara-kiri.
With mushrooming SFMTA managers and more than six-figure salaries, only Muni operators are hobbled—even while $10 million is taken from operating reserves for the subway’s unnecessary Pagoda Theater work.
Now, $15 million more is threatened for acquisition of the property.
Worse, huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.
Bleeding dollars from the Muni system, developers are toying with Muni like a Monopoly game.
Taxpayers should take up torches and pitchforks to end the financial madness.
Howard Wong
San Francisco

Central Subway tunnel boring machines will live on

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Tunnel-boring machines Big Alma and Mom Chung might be finished with Muni’s Central Subway project, but they have thousands of feet left in their arsenals. Upon refurbishment, they would be suitable for more local projects, such as extending the subway farther or building tunnels for BART’s extension to San Jose.

BART is currently building more track south from Fremont and into northern San Jose, with the goal of one day going into the downtown area. For a future project, 5 miles of the BART extension in San Jose would require underground tunneling, although designs are still being refined. If the refurbished Central Subway tunnel-boring machines meet the criteria for BART, they “certainly would be worth considering,” said Bernice Alaniz, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which is building the extension because it is out of BART’s district.

An extension of the Central Subway to Fisherman’s Wharf is being studied. But even if that moves forward, Big Alma and Mom Chung are not designed to make a turn that would be necessary for the project… (more)

Supes, Community Members Advocate For Central Subway Extension To Fisherman’s Wharf

Meter Madness

By Sasha Lekach, Bay City News :sfappeal – excerpt

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials marked a milestone in the Central Subway project this morning with the completion of tunnel boring from downtown San Francisco to North Beach.

Two boring machines, affectionately named Mom Chung and Big Alma after historical San Francisco women, made it 8,500 feet to the former site of the Pagoda Palace Theater earlier this month after about a year of digging two underground tunnels.

The tunnels will connect the San Francisco Municipal Railway T-Third line from the South of Market area through Union Square and into Chinatown.

The $233 million tunnel, which started in 2012, is part of the $1.6 billion Central Subway project expected to be completed in 2019…

Chiu said he “had a vision” of the tunnel connecting the subway to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf as well.

Supervisor Scott…

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