San Francisco Central Subway (Photo: SFMTA)

Photos: SFMTA

USA: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has launched a free weekends-only introductory service on the Central Subway, ahead of the extension of T Third Line light rail services into the tunnel from January.

The Central Subway forms the second phase of Muni’s T Third Line project, which started with the construction of an 8·2 km light rail line along 3rd Street which opened in April 2007.

The Central Subway extends this line by 2·7 km, with a surface stop at 4th & Brannan and three underground stations at Yerba Buena/Moscone, Union Square/Market Street and Chinatown-Rose Pak.

San Francisco Central Subway people on train

The weekend shuttle service which began on November 19 runs every 12 min from 08.00 to midnight. From January 7, T Third Line services will be extended into the Central Subway, providing all-week through services from Sunnydale to Chinatown-Rose Pak.

The $1·6bn Central Subway project has been funded with $948m from the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts programme and $41m from the US Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement programme, and local funding from the state of California, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the City & County of San Francisco.

San Francisco Central Subway people on platform

A study of routing options for a further extension of the line beyond Chinatown towards North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf is expected to begin in 2024.