The controversial Central Subway project in San Francisco garnered the support of all 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The $1.6 billion Muni project, which will extend underground train service to Chinatown, was the subject of a resolution.
The Central Subway project, which is waiting on a crucial $942 million grant from the federal government, has been in the spotlight recently, most notably as part of the San Francisco mayoral race. Candidate Dennis Herrera, a one-time supporter of the plan, has come out against the project, and fellow hopeful Leland Yee has accused Muni of wasteful spending practices on some of its subway-related contracts in Chinatown.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors president David Chiu, himself a mayoral candidate, first introduced the resolution on Tuesday’s regular meeting. The non-binding resolution also includes support for finding housing for the Chinatown tenants who will be displaced by the project construction. The board has consistently backed the Central Subway, most recently when it approved a $57 million funding allocation for the project in July.
Herrera issued a release following the board resolution Tuesday, saying he respects the views of the members, and that the Central Subway project merits serious debate.
"Reasonable minds can disagree, but I strongly believe that the roughly $1-billion-per-mile cost of the Central Subway cannot justified by its purported benefits,” Herrera said in the release.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, expects to hear back on its $942 million grant application from the federal government early next year, which would finalize funding for the project.
Critics of the plan said it’s too expensive and won’t carry enough riders or connect with other transit lines. The SFMTA argues that it’s a once-in-a-generation project that will help relieve street congestion and provide much-needed transit options for the underserved Chinatown community.