The delayed completion of San Francisco’s Central Subway now has a soft opening date, The City’s top transit official Jeffrey Tumlin announced Tuesday.
Tumlin said at the soft opening is set for Saturday, Nov. 19 and will debut with free weekend-only shuttle service serving just the new stations, including the Fourth and Brannan, Yerba Buena/Moscone, Union Square/Market Street, and Chinatown-Rose Pak stations.
The T-Third rail line will continue to operate its normal route, interlinking with the K-Ingleside, during the soft opening period.
Plans for full service on the Central Subway are anticipated for January of next year, just before the start of Lunar New Year, Tumlin said. The Lunar New Year is on Jan. 23.
Tumlin said the soft opening period will give Muni passengers time to familiarize themselves with the new subway as well as time to continue training SFMTA staff:
“This will be a soft opening because we still need to make sure that all of our staff are fully trained, not only in the daily regular operations of Central Subway, but every single problem that might arise or emergency that might arise.”
Crews have been working on completing punch list items, testing components of the subway and working on“critical”certifications from several agencies, including the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees commuter rail safety.
Once the subway fully opens for seven-day service in January, the T will finally be rerouted to the Central Subway, Tumlin said. This will also mean the K will no longer interlink with the T.
The announcement highlights important milestones for the project, including the SFMTA receiving ownership of the new subway from the contractor earlier this month and a visit from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
Buttigieg joined the U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mayor London Breed and Tumlin on a tour of the new subway on Sept. 8.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.