Supe Proposes Master Plan to Expand City’s Subway System

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener today announced legislation for a master plan to expand the city’s subway system.

Wiener said a master plan would have the goal of expanding the existing system beyond its current two lines – the San Francisco Municipal Railway line under Market Street and BART’s line from Market Street through the Mission District to Daly City.

A third subway, the Central Subway connecting the city’s South of Market neighborhood to Chinatown, is currently under construction and set to open in 2017.

Some potential areas of subway expansion highlighted by Wiener include extending the Central Subway to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf, creating a subway to western San Francisco, or building another transbay tube for BART.

“San Francisco has experienced unprecedented growth, and our streets already can’t handle the surface traffic we see today,” Wiener said in a statement.

“As our city continues to grow, it’s critical to move more transit underground. For a more sustainable transportation system, San Francisco should always have a subway under construction. This plan will lay the groundwork for a badly needed subway network to serve all parts of San Francisco,” he said.

The legislation would require the city to come up with a master plan outlining long-term subway expansion throughout the entire city within a year of its passage, according to Wiener’s office.

The San Francisco Transit Riders Union said today they strongly support the master plan.

“Our city struggles with the slowest transit system in the nation because our trains and buses must navigate the same clogged streets as everyone else,” SFTRU member Andy Bosselman said in a statement. “Yet San Francisco’s small footprint and high population density make it ideal for
more subways.”

“Considering how long our city has hobbled along with a slow, neglected, and underfunded system, a bold and visionary plan for transit is long overdue,” Bosselman said. “This is an opportunity for elected officials to show leadership. Every one of them should take it.”

Wiener’s ordinance will be heard at the board’s land use and transportation committee this fall.

Rachel Matsuoka, Bay City News

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