Construction is well underway on SF's Central Subway from the Caltrain Station all 1.7 miles to Chinatown (expected 2019). But a new city-commissioned study says maybe we should shoot for an extended route all the way to Fisherman's Wharf... especially if we're going for Olympic gold.
According to the study, released last week and reported in the Chron, the extension project would be popular with riders but could take decades, and way more money than the SFMTA has to spend between $367 million and $1.4 billion. But as the Business Times points out today, a proposed bid for the 2024 Olympics could very well push the timeline for this up, and provide many more potential funding sources especially with Larry Baer out there shaking the trees and demanding money from all his friends.
The study provides an outline for 14 different potential routes and calls for a North Beach station and one or two stations in Fisherman's Wharf. The potential thinking is that the project, if it's fast-tracked, could go over well with the Olympic Committee. But don't get too excited, everyone we won't know about that until 2017.
The Business Times also says that SFMTA transit planner Paul Bignardi thinks the two developments could be linked: "There has been talk, though, Bignardi said, of an increased interest in the project as San Francisco leaders compete with Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington to represent the United States bid for the 2024 summer Olympics."
Just imagine Fisherman's Wharf during the Olympics for a quick second. Yeah, maybe an extended subway is a good idea.