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New Central Subway Director to Reassess Schedule

Thursday, July 25, 2019

New Central Subway Director to Reassess Schedule

Today, the SFMTA announced plans to undertake a comprehensive review of the Central Subway budget and schedule.

The review will be conducted by the Central Subway Program’s new director, Nadeem Tahir, who joined the agency on July 15, after which we will have a better understanding of what we can anticipate will be required to deliver the project as well as evaluate the expected budget impacts of the delay.

Nadeem Tahir is an experienced transit professional with more than 35 years of experience planning, designing and managing the construction of large, highly complex domestic and international rail transit projects. He has managed rail projects in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Chicago, and was also the director of program management for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region IX, overseeing projects in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii.

While it now appears likely that it will take longer to deliver Central Subway service, we do expect that most of the work will move underground and be less visible to communities. We do not expect this delay to create additional impacts for the residents and merchants who have lived through seven difficult years of construction. However, it is important to note that the construction of the community-requested rooftop plaza at the Chinatown Station is expected to continue into 2020.

The project continues to achieve important milestones and we look forward to completing much of the above ground work by the end of the year. This spring, we reopened lower Stockton Street near Union Square and restored regular Muni service for the 8, 30 and the 45 lines. Later this summer, we look forward to celebrating the reopening of the rest of Stockton Street in Chinatown and, this fall, to concluding our work on the surface of 4th Street.

Once construction is completed, we will begin testing to ensure that the tracks and other systems are fully integrated with the Muni system and ready for service. This includes integrating the automatic train control systems, radio and data communication systems, overhead lines, and customer information systems, ensuring that all of these aspects work for our two different types of light rail vehicles (Breda and LRV4).

Like most major infrastructure projects, the Central Subway is incredibly complex. Accurately predicting a completion date is always a challenge, and there are always risks that can delay a project or add unanticipated costs.

Our construction partners at Tutor Perini are a critical part of this process. We will continue to work with them proactively and in good faith to steward this project to completion. We are confident that they share our commitment to delivering a safe and reliable Central Subway that will serve residents of San Francisco for generations to come.