San Francisco Supervisor Wants More Subways in City

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, who is a candidate for the California State Senate, announced he wants “unprecedented growth” in San Francisco and intends to increase subway infrastructure by ensuring that the city always has at least one subway under construction.

Bay Area public radio station KQED reports that Wiener plans to introduce legislation on Tuesday to this effect.

“Robust and continual subway construction will provoke resistance from many groups,” Jason McDaniel, an assistant professor of political science at San Francisco State, told KQED.

Wiener is chairman of the board that oversees the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and sits on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. His plan comes with a hefty price tag, as KQED notes the the Central Subway’s budget is $1.578 billion. A breakdown of its funding sources can be found here.

It appears Wiener is attempting to make San Francisco transportation resemble New York’s; a daunting task considering the 1906 earthquake that destroyed San Francisco’s public transportation system and prevented it from being rebuilt in an effective way.

Wiener’s plans include a renewed push for BART to build a second transbay tube, an extension of the SFMTA’s Central Subway which is currently under construction, and overall, his “Subway Master Plan” could include extending subway service to the western parts of San Francisco, currently served by above-ground light rail and bus lines, KQED notes.

San Francisco State University Professor of geography specializing in urban transportation Jason Henderson told KQED that while he agrees with Wiener that the ever-growing city’s population will likely benefit from a high-capacity rail and a second transbay tube, he is very worried that these projects will will come at the expense of the city’s bus service. “It must be ensured that the Muni bus system is not sacrificed,” Henderson said.

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