The San Francisco Chronicle reports that two tunnel boring machines have completed their work on a light rail subway extension to Chinatown from South of Market. That was quick: the two machines made it 1.7 miles in less than a year. They now stand to be dismantled and resold, possibly to Los Angeles for its subway.
But the line won’t open until 2019! With the tunneling done, does it really take five years to finish a 1.7-mile tunnel and lay the tracks? That is shamefully slow progress. It’s a badly needed line to relieve the most incredibly congested bus route I’ve ever seen, and a future extension through North Beach and to Fisherman’s Wharf would be well worth the cost, if we could speed up this phase. The northern part of San Francisco is difficult to reach on surface streets, so this connections is critical.
Let’s hope policy makers and the public can pressure a faster completion for this project.