After a limited opening for public service on weekends since November, San Francisco’s much-anticipated Central Subway opened for revenue service on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
The 1.7-mile extension of the T-Third line carries Muni passengers from the southeastern neighborhoods of the Bayview and Visitacion Valley all the way to Chinatown, including stops at Fourth and Brannan streets, Yerba Buena and Union Square. The opening has been a long time coming, as the project faced years of construction delays and a ballooning budget.
Elected officials held a ceremony and ribbon cutting at the Union Square/Market Street station, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who arrived in The City after spending hours in Washington D.C. past midnight to elect a new House speaker.
Pelosi, who made her first public appearance as “speaker emerita,” said:
“This is a family affair.”
Over a billion dollars of federal funding helped pay for the Central Subway.
Mayor London Breed said the “transformative” project will provide an efficient way for Muni passengers and workers to get to and from the Bayview, Sunnydale, Chase Center and other parts of the city despite “a few hiccups” during construction:
“Yes, it costs a lot of money. Yes, it takes hundreds of meetings of community input. Yes, it takes a lot of dollars to be raised on so many levels. And yes, a few hiccups along the way. But you know what, delays don’t mean denial.”
After the ribbon cutting, public officials took a ceremonial ride on T to Chase Center and were welcomed by the Bay Blue Notes.
With the new Central Subway open, some Muni passengers will need to make new transfers and connections, including to Chase Center, now that K-Ingleside and T-Third rail lines no longer interlink with each other.
The K now serves transit stops between Balboa Park and Embarcadero station. The T will no longer serve stops along the Embarcadero and King Street, with the exception of the Caltrain station and Fourth and King streets.
Muni’s Union Square/Market Street station and Powell station are connected with a walkable transfer from BART and other Muni rail lines to reach destinations like Chase Center for example.
T-Third service will run every 10 minutes Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m. to midnight. Weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to midnight every 12 minutes.
During events at Chase Center, the SFMTA said they will run event service between the Chinatown-Rose Pak station and Chase Center/UCSF station every 10 minutes on top of regular T service. Trains will have head signs that read “S Shuttle Mission Bay.”