Liz Melchor : potreroview.net – excerpt
ome 2018, transit riders should be able to get on the Muni T-line at Fourth and Brannan streets and take a train all the way to Chinatown, via the San Francisco Municipal Transportation’s Agency’s (SFMTA) Central Subway. The controversial subway extension is expected to cost more than $1.6 billion, a large portion of which will be spent on consultants.
And it seems that when municipal transportation expenditures get so large, private contractors try to work the system to their benefit. A recent audit by Sacramento-based firm Sjoberg Evashenk found that 10 of 14 consulting firms working on the Central Subway were overcharging the City, to the tune of $900,000. The most egregious companies tried to pass along expenses like a wedding cake, personal vacations, and tables at charity golf tournaments.
The Central Subway project has been criticized for its high cost since its inception. A 2011 Civil Grand Jury report, Central Subway: Too Much Money for Too Little Benefit, compared the Central Subway to another famous 1.7 mile transportation construction feat in San Francisco: the Golden Gate Bridge. To replace the bridge would cost $1.2 billion, they asserted. How could the Central Subway cost so much more?… (more)