Advocates Flummoxed and Fuming Over Latest Central Subway Delays

By Roger Rudnick : streetsblog – excerpt

Seriously, is this thing every going to open?

We should check to see the odds in Vegas.

ay Area transit advocates look in envy at the expansion of the Line 14 in Paris, Crossrail in London, and, basically, any subway system in China–the fact is the rest of the world continues building transit much faster, and for less money than we do. Now the S.F. Examiner has broken the story that our only subway project, the relatively puny 1.7 mile Central Subway, is seriously delayed, again…

If anyone’s still keeping track, the subway was originally supposed to open in 2018.

“This latest delay reminds us just how ill-equipped we are in the Bay Area to spend large sums of money effectively and efficiently on transit. Any new major capital money for transit expansion projects like this must come with significant reforms to how we approach, project planning, capital project delivery and construction,” wrote Seamless Bay Area’s Ian Griffiths, in an email to Streetsblog. “This project has been studied for over 20 years; it took nearly a decade of planning and design to agree on alignment.”

“If Central Subway opens in 2021, that’s 11 years of construction for three subway stops and 1.7 miles of tunnel,” added Cat Carter, spokesperson for the Transit Rider’s Union. “We can’t wait that long for reliable, functional, efficient service.”…

Advocates worry this latest delay doesn’t bode well for attempting to convince Bay Area voters to go in on a large regional mega-measure to expand transit. “Since Central Subway represents another example of how slothfully agencies like the MTA administer the funds entrusted to them, it won’t help extracting another $100 billion of taxpayer money one bit,” wrote Gerald Cauthen, President of the Bay Area Transportation Working Group and occasional Streetsblog contributor.…(more)

As one of our agency spokespersons once famously said, “There is no way the people who created this mess should be trusted to fix it”, or something to that effect. My sentiments exactly. Whoever is spending the Muni money is not doing a good job and needs to be replaced. Hiring standards are also suspect. Voters have no reason to trust the system that has failed miserably to improve. Voters should demand a competance.

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