SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were in San Francisco today to check out progress on the long-delayed Central Subway project.
The Muni Metro extension through SOMA, Union Square and Chinatown is still set to serve passengers in the fall.
This is the ride so many have been waiting for. Construction on the Central Subway is nearly done.
Today, we tagged along as local and national leaders rode the train on the underground rail line from Union Square to Chinatown.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the U.S. Transportation Secretary got a closer look at what crews have been working on for years.
"Thank the community for their patience for the many many years of construction," said SF Mayor London Breed.
Work began in 2010 on the Central Subway line.
Originally, it was supposed to be done by December 2018.
The $1.6 billion dollar project stretches 1.7 miles and would connect San Francisco's downtown areas to Chinatown through four stations.
Leaders today applauded the progress on this massive transit project.
"The department was proud to support it a decade ago under President Obama with nearly a billion dollars in funds. And it's going to pay dividends for generations to come," said Secretary Buttigieg.
"This project has been a long time coming and not a minute too soon. Like many other communities Chinatown needs this lifeline," said Malcom Yeung, Executive Director of Chinatown CDC.
The majority of funding for the central subway comes from federal money and the New Starts program.
"When we allocate resources, we want to see it happen. There is competition for all of it. We want to see dirt fly. We want to see it happen," said Speaker Pelosi.
The Central Subway has been a long time coming, but many authorities say it's worth the wait.
"The Central Subway will greatly reduce travel time and ease congestion in some of the city's busiest areas and it will connect to our regional systems BART and Caltrain," said Mayor Breed.
With the Central Subway about ready to go, leaders say more public transportation improvements are yet to come.
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