The yearslong creation of the Central Subway is a prime example of how large infrastructure projects in cities can boost the economy, create local jobs and increase commerce in the U.S., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.
Amid the roar of construction of Muni's future Yerba Buena-Moscone station, Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Transportation Director Ed Reiskin touted The City as a key pillar of the Middle Class Jumpstart agenda launched by House Democrats last month to ensure "good-paying jobs" for workers nationwide.
The Middle Class Jumpstart will serve as an economic agenda to advance policies that promote job creation, support opportunities for women and increase education opportunities for working families, according to Pelosi.
"Right now, there is a stalling of the middle class because there is a stalling of these kinds of initiatives," Pelosi said.
The Central Subway project, which has created tens of thousands of jobs and contracted more than $275 million to small-business enterprises, is a model for such initiatives, according to Lee. It marks San Francisco's first new subway in nearly a half-century and will ultimately extend the T-Third Street line from near AT&T Park 1.7 miles north into Chinatown.
"This project has been one of the critical foundations for why today ... we can boast about a 4.5 percent unemployment rate in San Francisco," Lee said.
The first phase of the Central Subway project was completed in 2007, restoring light-rail service to the southeast portion of San Francisco for the first time in 50 years. The project most recently reached a milestone with the completion of its tunnel-boring phase in June.
"It really is a great demonstration of the kind of infrastructure investment that we're capable of achieving here in the United States," Reiskin said.