M-Ocean View Subway: Is this Project Really About Trains?

View from inside an inbound M-Oceanview. Why should a train full of people sit in a mixed-flow turning pocket waiting for cars to make a left into a mall? Photo: Streetsblog.
View from inside an inbound M-Ocean View just south of Stonestown. Why should a train sit in traffic waiting for cars to make a left into a shopping mall? Photo: Streetsblog.

Thursday, SFMTA joined several agencies at the Bay Area 2040 open house in Oakland. One of the projects presented was the M-Ocean View improvement plan. As the Examiner reported today, SFMTA is now leaning towards an all-underground option, with a tunnel stretching from West Portal to Parkmerced. This project, at around $3 billion, would re-align the M-Ocean View to the west of 19th Ave. and put it in a tunnel. Ostensibly, the project’s objective is to increase capacity and the speed of the trains to better serve SF State and the burgeoning community of Parkmerced.

From the SFMTA’s factsheet from the section entitled, “Key Benefits of Full Subway” PDF:

MUNI METRO SPEED AND RELIABILITY: No delay to train from waiting at intersections [emphasis added] makes for faster and more reliable service. Undergrounding the M- and K-lines through West Portal also addresses this major bottleneck

Somebody has to point out the elephant in the room.

Why is the train waiting at intersections in the first place?

The M-Ocean View, for its run down 19th, has its own right-of-way. But at each intersection, it has to wait for lights to cycle and automobiles to cross.

Obviously, putting the train in a tunnel is not the only solution.

Liz Brisson, Project Manager, Urban Planning Initiatives Sustainable Street Division for the SFMTA, explained at Thursday evening’s open house that there are short-term improvements to the M-Ocean View in the works, such as giving it more priority at signal lights and reducing the length of the turning pocket, seen in the photo above, at Stonestown. Right now an inbound M-Ocean View train has to wait behind left-turning cars before it can proceed into the Stonestown station.

But why just shorten the turning pocket? Why not get rid of the one that’s blocking the trains? And why signal “priority” instead of pre-emption: meaning why not when the train approaches, gates come down or the light always turns red for the cars and green for the train? The answer is obvious: it will cause more delay for privately owned cars.

The SFMTA’s studies also say the train goes slow because of closely spaced stations and that some stops should be eliminated and consolidated. But stop consolidation doesn’t require tunnels.

As this publication has covered for many years, San Francisco has long had a “transit first,” policy, at least in theory. But what clearer example could there be that transit is still far from first, when trains full of hundreds of people have to sit behind cars turning into a shopping mall?

Certainly, projects to create bus-only lanes on Van Ness, Mission and Geary are a step in the “transit first” direction. But putting Light Rail trains in a tunnel, when they already have a right of way (ROW), doesn’t sound like “transit first.” It sounds like a way to get the train out of the way of the cars.

A Portland MAX train crossing an intersection. Railroad crossing gates could give the M-Ocean View all the speed advantages of a subway tunnel without any of the costs. Image: Wikiemedia commons.
A Portland LRT train crossing an intersection. Crossing gates could give the M-Ocean View all the speed of a subway without any of the costs. Image: Wikiemedia commons.

In fact, the M-Ocean View study still smacks of a “Level of Service” (LOS) philosophy, where transit can be improved only if it does not have averse effects on peak automobile travel times. Although LOS is no longer the law of the land, it persists in planning bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, students at SFSU have worked out a plan to connect the university and Parkmerced comfortably with the nearby Daly City BART station by bike, so it should only take ten minutes to cycle between that station and the campus. BART takes less than 15 minutes from Daly City to downtown San Francisco. That would cost pennies compared to under-grounding the M-Ocean View.

And in fairness, the SFMTA study has some good ideas, such as eliminating a parking lane from 19th, adding a protected bike lane, and building bulb outs to make it safer to cross the street.

But with all the transportation needs in the Bay Area, is building a tunnel where there’s already an existing ROW really the best way to spend $3 billion?

  • RichardC

    Signal pre-emption would only work when pedestrians aren’t present. You can pre-empt a traffic signal, since it only takes a few seconds to turn red, but once a pedestrian countdown has started – and they need to be long for a road this wide – you can’t just pre-empt it mid-cycle. So even if you don’t care about LOS at all, you can’t eliminate intersection delay for surface-running trains.

    There are, as Roger points out, ways to reduce train delay, but the surface will never be as fast as a subway.

  • reedm

    Roger, with all due respect, I don’t feel like this article does this project even remote justice.

    Cost considerations are important, but San Francisco needs a real transit network, and that includes subway growth. Our underground tunnel from West Portal to Embarcadero is the best transit asset Muni has in San Francisco today, and it took the upfront investment to make it happen. The idea that we could complete this vision to create the city’s first true crosstown subway would create an incredible transit backbone of high speed, high-capacity, consistently spaced, fundamentally reliable transit to San Francisco. I don’t think I can overstate the importance of that.

    This is far more consequential than having trains stop less often above ground. We should not be looking at transit as simply trying to address the minor short fallings of today, we must also be building transit that meets the latent demand of today, and builds a vision for the riders of tomorrow. Signal priority alone ignores these benefits entirely.

    Let me give you an example. Vancouver, in 2001, created the 98 B-Line BRT service to replace a busy bus route. This line had signal priority, center-running lanes, wider spaced stops, boarding platforms, and 6-minute frequency. All of the improvements resulted in a jump from 18k to 20k riders per day (about a 10% increase) and a 15% increase in speed, saving up to 9 minutes along the 50-minute corridor. While useful, that’s not the sort of service that changes a city. Less than a decade later, in 2009, Vancouver replaced the 98 B-Line with a fully-automated subway: the Canada Line. Ridership skyrocketed. 135k riders per day, a 700% increase. Travel times dropped by 75%. It quadrupled the frequency of service with the same number of vehicles. The cost per passenger mile for operations dropped almost 10x.

    We already have an incredible transit pipeline under Market Street, but we can’t use it to its full advantage today. We need the kinds of transportation projects that revolutionize our experience in the city, that allow us to grow a better network off of, and give us a canvas to grow our city around. We need transportation that helps us meet our affordability goals, our housing policy visions, and our sustainability needs. And that’s what we’re talking about here.

    These are the kinds of projects that transit-first advocates should be championing, not trying to water down.

  • reedm

    There’s plenty of space for above ground transit and stops in San Francisco. I personally have argued to keep the L and K above ground and combine them to form a single line, allowing the M to become a true urban subway line.

    The M here is far more than West Portal and 19th Avenue, it’s an extension of our most valuable asset: the Market Street corridor. Having a crosstown backbone of pure subway service would absolutely revolutionize that corridor in San Francisco and change how we leverage that asset and, frankly, change how we think about transit in San Francisco. To my mind, this project is a critical continuation of the subway project that moved trains underground from Embarcadero to Castro.

  • Bruce

    I personally love Nextransit’s plan: http://newmunimetro.com/m-market/

  • reedm

    And that’s the http://newmunimetro.com/m-market/ plan.

    Pull the J out of the tunnel, end at Church, future growth along Fillmore/Webster north to Geary.

    Pull the K and the L out of the tunnel, combine the lines, future growth along Geneva to Bayshore Caltrain.

    Pull the N out of the tunnel, expand eastward along Duboce where 101 currently stands, connecting to Soma & Caltrain.

    Now you have a dedicated M-Market line, fully automated, no merging, no weather-related issues, opportunity for vehicle acquisition that optimizes for subway use (wide doors, fully open gangways, platform-length trains), and you can manage above ground service at exactly the frequencies required to meet capacity and service needs.

  • Michael Smith

    Even worse is that the current subway proposal will never ever happen (there is no funding available for this overly costly design) and will prevent other effective solutions (giving transit true priority, or a much lower cost tunnel) from being implemented.

    The sooner this project dies, and it will, the sooner we can work on more cost effective solutions that can actually be implemented.

  • jonobate

    Yeah, I’ve seen that plan. The problem is that in step 1 of the proposed re-organization you immediately create a transfer penalty for everyone who boards at any of the surface stops and is heading to one of the subway stations (and visa versa) with no benefit in terms of travel time. I know you’re selling the idea in terms of enhanced capacity in the subway, but I’m sure the residents of the outer neighborhoods won’t see it like that.

    Essentially you’re handling the vehicle capacity mismatch between the subway and the surface portions of the system by severing the two, so we can add extra cars to trains in the subway without having to support extra cars on the surface. I’d rather deal with the vehicle capacity mismatch by increasing vehicle capacity on the surface to get the capacity of those lines closer to what is available in the subway. There’s no reason why we can’t have three-car trains on every surface line that needs them.

    When we do get to the point where splitting lines out of the subway is necessary (which will be a long way in the future), I would rather do it by incorporating the N into a second Muni Metro subway that that also supports a Geary line. The line would go underground at Embarcadero/Howard, next to the existing portal, and curve west under Mission to serve a 1st/Mission station. Then one branch would cross Market and head west under Geary, serving Union Square and Van Ness/Geary before surfacing in the center of Geary east of Gough. The other branch would continue west under Mission, cross Market near Octavia and head west under Hermann, and feed into the N line at Duboce Park. By this point we probably would have already undergrounded the N between Carl/Cole and 9th/Judah, giving a clear shot to the beach for three or four car trains.

  • alberto rossi

    And yet we could realize 90% of the benefits of your “new muni metro” plan without spending $3 billion.

  • Thanks for the link. I hadn’t heard of Nextransit and their proposed plan. The model they propose looks sensible and very doable, especially the first step which would produce substantial immediate benefits at almost no cost.

  • murphstahoe

    I see. That is why people take local Caltrain runs instead of the bullets – because they don’t care about speed as long as they get there.


  • City Resident

    I agree with your comment except for the suggestion about eliminating stops between St. Francis Circle and Stonestown. Perhaps one day, if a subway replaces the M, it would make sense to eliminate the M stops at Ocean and also at Eucalyptus (especially if service on the 57 is then increased). Until then, at least one of these stops should remain. Every school day, hundreds of Lowell students and staff (and probably also Mercy students and staff) use the Eucalyptus stop. It may very well be better used than the St. Francis Circle stop. At a minimum, the Eucalyptus stop should remain open during pre-school and after school hours.

  • RichLL

    You’re looking at it from the point of view of the consumer, which is fair enough as far as it goes. So yeah, sure, if driving takes half the time of a train, you’ll drive. I get that.

    But from the point of view of the transit operator, it’s about throughput. And the faster I can get you in and out of the system, the more other people I can transport, and the more fares I can collect. Other things equal, speed helps that

    As for the bullets, that name is a total misnomer. What they really are are slightly less slow slow trains. And if they didn’t exist, you’d just rot a little longer on the train, just like you did before the “bullets”.

  • murphstahoe

    Caltrain has tripled their “throughput” after they introduced faster service.

    The throughput of a slow empty train is zero

  • david vartanoff

    All of the “easy fixes” were recommended to Muni 15 years ago. Nothing happened–the cars still block the M ,the cops don’t ticket them, gates were not installed, neither transit signal priority of preemption were installed.

    As to the value of getting the trains into their own tunnel–Boston and New York figured that out in 1896 and 1904 respectively. The facts remain, fully separate ROW permits faster throughput and encourages greater ridership.

    Of course $3.5 B is too much–Switzerland just finished35 miles x two tracks for $12 B–but US projects are primarily handouts to the crony kleptocrats.

    Rouite issues: yes the M should go to Daly City BART, if the subway happens,, then yes the M becomes the trunk line alternating with the N they could each have trains every 4 minutes in rush. Doing that w/ 4 car trains would eliminate crowding. Having the L and K either combined or as shuttles from West Portal, with a quick convenient transfer to frequent longer and less likely to be delayed Ms in the new subway should be an improvement all around. And yes the J should go back to running on the surface of Market Street.

    Final note. Yes, of course Geary should get restored rail service reserved ROW westof Masonic, full subway east to the FIDI.

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  • Ted King

    The ugly reality about the SFMuni portion of the Market Street Subway is that it’s a HAND-ME-DOWN from BART. The ball-less wonders who accepted it didn’t make an effort to convert the platforms from subway-style (high) to match the existing low platforms that were in use elsewhere in the city. So we’ve had two generations of failure prone Hi-Lo’s (Boeing + Breda) and we will see what happens with the next generation.

    P.S. Boeing could have fought off their severe case of NIH disease and licensed mark II PCC’s from Tatra / Skoda. Of course, that’s too rational and possibly un-American.


  • RichLL

    You are confusing actual utilization with theoretical capacity. And marketing with operations.

    Faster journeys may stimulate some extra demand, as do lower fares, on-board wi-fi and other factors. But the real reason why operating companies offer faster speeds is to be able to run more trains per day with the same rolling stock, thereby increasing capacity.

    After all, it’s not as if any of these systems actually run a profit anyway.

  • Donovan Lacy

    I assume that when you say that “It’s not as if any of these systems actually run a profit anyway”, you are referring to our local, state and federal highways, as it’s not as if any of these systems, including the tollroads actually run a profit.

  • RichLL

    Donovan, I was referring to transit systems, since that was the context here. Murph was (I think) trying to claim that the faster trains (actually trains that stop less) attract more revenue and customers.

    That may be true at the margin. However, the problem CalTrain has is not insufficient demand. The trains are often crowded. But rather a lack of capacity. CalTrain isn’t engaged in marketing in pursuit of greater profits the way, say, Proctor and Gamble might.

    So the real reason for higher average train speeds is greater capacity. The same train can be used more times a day.

    Discussions about how to fund critical national infrastructure is really a different discussion, because generally infrastructure isn’t funded by fares, tolls aside.

  • Donovan Lacy


    I just didn’t understand why you threw in the last comment. I have read a fair number of your recent responses and they tend to be on point, so I assumed that you added that last comment for a reason.

    I can understand your argument that higher average speeds can lead to greater capacity, assuming that increased track availability is utilized, however I don’t think that you can discount the fact that faster (on time) trains lead to more customers and more revenue. If you haven’t already you might want to read through some of the Amtrak numbers for the Acela Express (https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/238/481/Amtrak-FY2014-Ridership-and-Revenue-ATK-14-096%20.pdf)

    As an alternative mode of transportation trains are competing primarily with automobiles, and if they are not at least comparable in travel times, people are not going to ride them, regardless of much capacity they may have,

  • RichLL

    Yes, faster trips will attract more traffic, as will lower fares, nicer seats, better on-board amenities and so on. I never denied that.

    However I maintain that the primary reason why train authorities want faster trains is to increase capacity. And particularly when a system is already operating close to capacity.

    I thought it was fairly well known that the main reason for HSR was capacity. For instance, a new HSR is currently being planned in the UK which will run for about 100 miles. It will only take about 15 minutes off the journey time. The real reason for it is that the existing route is at saturation point.

    Running at higher speeds increases the daily capacity for each train AND you can add more trains as well.

    My last paragraph was an attempt to explain that I regard funding infrastructure as different from funding investment in operating businesses.

  • Donovan Lacy


    There are a number of reasons for HSR, and you are entitled to your opinion, but to suggest that the primary reason is for increased daily capacity does not seem to fit the facts, and your suggestions that “it is fairly well known that the main reason for HSR was capacity”, is fairly condescending.

    Rather than the UK example, we could just have easily used an HSR example much closer to home, the California High Speed Rail. Are you suggesting that the primary reason for the California HSR is to increase daily capacity? That seems like a bit of a stretch.

    Here is a link to the US High Speed Rail Association, http://www.ushsr.com/benefits.html. They provide their list of top reasons for HSR. It is a good read.

  • Donovan Lacy


    I just read up on the UK project you cited. It seems the project has virtually nothing to do with congestion, but rather speed and more probably more importantly English national pride (the rest of the world has HSR, so should we). The real issues are the commuter lines, rather than the inter-city lines that are served by HSR, which seems a lot more germane to this discussion.

    It seems that the HSR discussion is a bit of a tangent to the larger intra-city and commuter transportation issue. With that I will bow out of this conversation as it seems I have been guilty of taking this train / discussion off the tracks.

  • reedm

    Well, it handles the mismatch by allowing above ground trains to run at higher frequency to handle more capacity, without needing an increase in vehicles or drivers over what we have today. There’s far more than underground capacity here.

    That is, it allows us to run the N Judah at 3 minute frequencies to double the capacity above ground, with 30-50% frequency increases above ground on every other line as well. We don’t have a way to do that today, and adding three-car trains above ground not only requires substantial investment at every stop and possible station location realignment, but it does nothing to increase frequency, which is a cornerstone of an effective transit system. Plus, a 3-car train only gains you 50% capacity increase. The best part of doubling above-ground frequency is that it gets you 100% capacity increase AND double the service. And again, this can be done without adding a single train or driver. If we add more trains and more drivers, these numbers only get better. Imagine bringing back N-Judah service to match the 1920’s: every 2 minutes.

    The benefit in travel time is actually substantial during rush hour. The model showed up to a 32% reduction in travel time simply by removing the bottlenecks at the merge points and traffic in the tunnel. Factoring in the reliability in timing improvements and frequency of service improvements across the board, and your time savings only grows. It’s also fascinating to see that even today, without any provisions for a transfer, you can disembark an inbound J-Church, go downstairs, wait 3 minutes for an inbound KLM, and handily beat that very same J to Van Ness.

    The system not only provides capacity and frequency improvements, it also ensures that a single failure under market doesn’t shut down the entire city’s rail system. And given that, over the 6 months we monitored the Muni Meteo, there was a failure almost every day, that’s not something to ignore. We can hope that the new vehicles will have a lower failure rate, but it’s still a system that’s built to fall apart on a dime.

    The last point is that it allows you to run faster boarding low-platform trains above ground, and wide-door open gangway platform length trains below ground. Comparable metro system cars in Japan and France have over double the boarding widths as our above-ground LRVs can handle.

    So there’s a lot of opportunity here, and yes, the transfer point is the hardest piece of the puzzle. But any good transit network has transfers, and we can use these as an opportunity to create far more reliable, frequent, and high-capacity service across the city, while also helping shape a bigger transit network vision. (Eg., the south-crossing Zoo-West Portal-Balboa Park-Bayshore line, the mid-city north/south Fillmore-Church-Balboa Park line, the central east-west Judah-Duboce-Design district-Soma or Mission Bay line, etc.)

  • jonobate

    You’re going to have to explain how you magically find enough drivers and trains to increase the N-Judah to 3 minute frequencies simply by splitting the line at the point where it goes underground. If you increase cars and drivers on the surface, you have to remove them from somewhere else – where do they come from?

  • reedm

    I’ll try to find a way to create a visualization of the model. It surprised me quite a bit, but on the high level it has to do with:

    1. The amount of time spent merging into the tunnel
    2. The amount of time spent backed up in the tunnel
    3. The existing frequency of trains in the tunnel
    4. Boarding times are reduced underground

    In order to get 2-3 minute frequencies underground between Embarcadero and West Portal, including turnarounds, it takes 10 trainsets. During rush hour, we actually have frequencies as low as every minute or less in the tunnel, which is unnecessary and rooted in the need for 6-7 minute frequencies above ground. 2 minute frequency 300 foot trains is plenty for the underground corridor, particularly as it allows us to remove turnaround backups. During rush hour with backups, monitoring the trains over 6 months, we saw that there can be as many as 34 trains in the tunnel at any given time. Those are trains that could be providing service to above ground passengers.

    Shifting merging time from train travel time to passenger travel time gives back the time to the network, on the order of 160 hours per day. Removing backed up train time gives back on the order of 230 hours per day. That alone winds up being over 500 extra runs per day in saved time.

    Based on our research for boarding times, during peak hours, our outbound train dwell time is far higher than comparable systems underground (averaging over 20 seconds), which is not only due to non-optimized subway trains, but also to having 6 lines boarding at the same platform, creating platform crowding and “swimming through crowds” to board. In a single-line scenario, every person boards every train.

    All of these gains get put back into the above-ground network, adding 3-8 trains per line, bringing anywhere from 33% frequency improvements to over 50%.

  • jonobate

    Thanks, that actually makes a ton of sense. I’m starting to be convinced.

  • Benjamin Pease

    If you take the wood-frame dentist office at 19th and Eucaluptus and either demolish it, or move it onto the existing M right of way, the M could be made to turn onto 19th Ave. at Eucalyptus instead of mid-block; the turn would be easier to signal-protect in conjunction with the regular intersection stop light instead of the world’s longest “please keep clear please” zone. A sharper turn (or reverse curve) would be balanced by easier passage in most conditions. That and nix the left-turn-in-streetcar lane at Winston/Stonestown as suggested.

  • neroden

    The M *already has its own right of way*. This proposal is “convert the M train right of way to car traffic, and build a giant tunnel to get the M out of the way”.

    This is idiotic. The M runs fast and efficiently over its exclusive right-of-way, except where cars have been given priority over it for no good reason.

  • neroden

    The Central Subway is generally considered by public transit advocates to be the biggest waste of money of any public transit project in the US.

    Geary needs its own Muni Metro route. And it needs to be a subway *east of Gough Street* where Geary is narrow.

    But west of Gough Street, there’s plenty of room to put the G-Geary on the surface, because there’s extra lanes there which used to be the exclusive streetcar lanes.

    If you’ve got an exclusive right-of-way for your train on the surface, it is pure money-wasting to put the train undergrounud. Put up some railroad gates where the streets cross the tracks.

  • neroden

    Remember, 19th Avenue is ALREADY wide enough that it ALREADY has a pair of tracks for the railway, separate from the street. If they rip out the railway, they’re not going to make the street narrower… they’re just going to put more car lanes in.

    Putting the railway underground is simply an attempt to get more space for car lanes.

  • neroden

    This project appears to be 100% for the benefit of motorists.

    It would be different if we weren’t looking at a line which *already has its own right of way on the surface*. But we are in fact looking at a line which already has its own right of way. 100% of the benefits of the tunnel go to motorists.

  • neroden

    Yes, we had reached a consensus that you were lying, RichLL.

  • neroden

    Given that the M train already has its own exclusive right-of-way on 19th Ave., and on West Portal Avenue, there is no conceivable reason whatsoever to build a redundant tunnel — unless the goal is to replace the tracks with more lanes for cars.

    The portion on Randoplh St. and Broad St. doesn’t seem to have much auto traffic so it’s not a problem either.

    A tunnel would be solely for the benefit of motorists.

  • RichLL

    A technical error is not a lie but merely a mistake, which we all make. Inferring bad intent is inappropriate.

    But I take solace from the fact that, by implication, the other 99% of my statements have your blessing

  • neroden

    I’ll tell you what’s really gross about this. This is the section of the Muni system which *least* needs a tunnel.

    The N-Judah — definitely needs a tunnel! Should be tunneled the whole way! The J-Church — would benefit from a tunnel! The K-Ingleside — yeah, that could use a tunnel too! The L-Taraval — a tunnel would sure help!

    The M-Ocean View? It already has exclusive right of way and doesn’t stop for very many intersections. Why are they trying to steal that right-of-way for cars?

  • First of all, don’t blame car owners for the mess known as 19th Ave. They’re dealing with the results of what supposed experts designed. Second, don’t build a suburban-style mall if you don’t want people to drive to it.

    Okay, that’s out of the way. As for the topic at hand, undergrounding the M-line would be a colossal waste of time, energy and money. The Forest Hill and West Portal platforms would have to be completely rebuilt in order to handle 4-car trains. It also neither addresses the configuration of the L-line, justifies the addition of a station at St. Francis Circle where the K and M would supposedly split, nor plans for a direct link to BART in Daly City. Finally, it doesn’t really provide solid ridership data that the Feds so dearly love when they fund transit projects. So, for $3B in 2016 dollars you’re not getting much. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of riders will continue to crawl along Geary…

  • Kieran

    Basically they need to put up physical borders, along with cutting awy at the roadway, making the M’s tracks exposed like it is near SF State, (hence cars won’t be able to drive over its tracks anymore) at the Winston intersection and northbound turn when the M turns off 19th ave near Eucalyptus Drive into its right of way traveling between backyards to St Francis Circle.

    The M along 19th ave could also use signal priority to enable it to cross intersections quickly, which was already mentioned by other people, so that its 19th ave section of the route will be much faster than it currently is. It’s sad that the M and other Muni Metro lines have no true signal priority on their surface sections(you’d have thought at least the T Third would, considering it was constructed in the 21st century).

    Instead of a subway for the M near SF State/Stonestown, I’d rather see a subway along Van Ness ave from Lombard and Van Ness in the north, continuing all down Van Ness, turning onto Mission followed by turning east onto 16th st, terminating at 16th and 3rd sts.. A subway like that could catalyze having a new station being built at the Van Ness/Market intersection. The station would serve the new Van Ness subway, the Muni Metro and BART, since BART’s tunnel is very close to the Van Ness Muni Metro station.

    The other stations it could serve are 16th and 3rd sts,16th and Connecticut, 16th and Potrero, 16th and Mission(shared with BART), Van Ness and McAllister, Van Ness and Geary, , and Van Ness and Clay and Van Ness and Union.

  • Ocean Lover

    one question would be why would they put the train in the center of a very busy multi-lane road way in the first place! Perhaps the best solution to that problem is not to put in underground at some multi-billion dollar project, but to simply either:
    A. move the train to one side of the road (maybe the east side) and push the lanes to the center. Then the train will never have to cross 19th street. Pedestrians can cross with an overhead elevated crosswalk.
    B. Elevate the train and stations. This could then be placed on the west side of 19th street, and have easier access to the mall.

    Eitherway, the train almost has to be removed from where it is. And elevating it will give that space to double turn left lanes to speed traffic off of 19th street.

  • Ocean Lover

    can the next generation of trains have the color voted on by the public. I seriously doubt that they would choose that red and depressing gray. Perhaps the classic yellow and green ( pretty shade of green like on one of the historic cars).

  • Lio Gnaulati

    Another obvious thing i might add to the muni underground discussion is the simple fact that drivers drive at differing speeds.. ergo there’s a clump of trains underneath the earth… for the life of me i don’t understand why they’re not trained to maintain a system wide “ordered” speed..

  • Lio Gnaulati

    Exactly . build a subway along geary