Backup plan crafted for Central Subway funding 

click to enlarge A rendering of what the Union Street Station would look like. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy Rendering
  • A rendering of what the Union Street Station would look like.

Muni hopes to use revenue bonds to pay for construction of the Central Subway if state funding for the project is delayed by politics.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, expects to use $61 million in state bond funding for the Central Subway. That money is part of the “connectivity funds” that were designated for local agencies in the $9.95 billion high-speed rail measure that voters approved in 2008.

However, with the state Legislature divided on high-speed rail, there are questions about when that bond money will actually be released. Meanwhile, the Federal Transit Administration — which is set to provide a $942 million grant for the Central Subway — wants assurances that Muni will be able to find money for the rest of its $1.6 billion project.

To quell those concerns, the agency has authored a resolution stating that if state funds are delayed, it will use its own bond money to cover the missing $61 million. The agency recently approved a plan that would allow for the issuance of $300 million in revenue bonds over the next 20 years, if necessary, for the project.

“This is simply a process to assure the FTA that this project has contingent funding plans in place,” SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said.

Today, the agency’s board of directors will vote on a resolution to support the contingency funding plan.

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Will Reisman

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