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SFMTA Reopens Stockton Street to Traffic

Friday, August 30, 2019

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), announced today the reopening of Stockton Street between Jackson and Clay Streets. This segment of Stockton Street will reopen to vehicular traffic and provide more space for pedestrians after a three-year partial closure due to Central Subway construction. This street segment runs directly from Union Square to Chinatown and is a main thoroughfare for merchants, residents, and tourists in the city.

“Getting Stockton Street back open is a huge milestone for the project, and much needed relief for the residents of Chinatown” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “We’re excited for the agency to move into the final stage of completion, and getting the systems tested and ready for a full opening of the Central Subway.”

In July, the SFMTA hired Nadeem Tahir to oversee the project as Central Subway Program Director. His focus is delivering the final stages of this historic project to improve public transportation in some of the city’s most densely populated areas. Nadeem is currently evaluating all aspects of the project and assessing the project’s timeline. One of his top priorities this summer was to restore traffic lanes, parking, and sidewalks for the community in Chinatown and Union Square.

“The Central Subway will bring together neighborhoods that have long been in need of improved public transit from the southeast to the busiest center of the city,” said Tom Maguire, Interim SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Every milestone is important, and we are thrilled to return Stockton Street back to the community and acknowledge how crucial this is for the merchants and residents."

Once construction on the project 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 the Central Subway extension is fully integrated into the rest of the Muni Metro subway system. Across the industry, it typically takes a minimum of six months to a year to test and integrate similar systems.

“As a community, we are all eager to see the station reach such a substantial milestone” said Malcolm Yeung, Chinatown CDC Deputy Director. “With Stockton Street restored, we hope all businesses will see relief.”

Once in operation, the Central Subway will cut travel times in half along congested Stockton Street and 4th Street while enhancing connections to BART, Muni Metro and Caltrain. The route will move along 4th Street, through a tunnel near Harrison Street, beneath Market Street, and under Stockton Street to the intersection of Stockton and Washington streets. With stops in SoMa, Yerba Buena/Moscone Center, Union Square, and Chinatown, Central Subway will vastly improve transit access for the residents in areas of the city with limited transportation options.

The Central Subway will directly serve some of San Francisco’s most densely populated communities including Visitacion Valley in the southeast, the Bayview and Dogpatch neighborhoods, and the city’s center. For more information about the Central Subway, visit