The discussion surrounding the design competition for concepts to “enliven and integrate” Fort Mason appropriately turns to the proposed extension of Muni’s F-line from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Fort.

The extension would cover less than a mile along City streets and through an existing rail tunnel adjacent to Fort Mason Center. The new terminus of the extension would be in the Fort Mason Center parking lot adjacent to Building A. The National Park Service has completed the environmental impact Statement (EIS) for the extension.

It would cost an estimated $40 million to design and construct the extension.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by BillyBalls

    I like the idea of making fort mason more accessible via public transportation, my only beef is that the historic streetcars are a little on the slow side.
    That said. $40 million isn’t bad for an extension this size.

  2. Posted by eddy

    $40M seems like the starting budget. What’s the Bay Bridge opening budget? Nevertheless, great idea.

  3. Posted by wesf

    I wasn’t aware there was an existing rail tunnel. Agreed, $40M doesn’t seem like a lot for this kind of project. And even if it balloons to $80M, that’s only like a few dozen parking tickets at the rate the fee hikes are going.

  4. Posted by RobBob

    Pocket change compared to the central corridor. But why not extend it all the way to Fillmore to better serve the Chestnut St shopping area?

  5. Posted by Big V

    That is a great project! Build it! And yes, extend it even further if possible… maybe all the way to Crissy Field? The F could circle the whole northern edge of the city….

  6. Posted by subprime

    There are still tracks buried underneath the sidewalk that runs along the Marina Green that originally went all the way to the Presidio. I’m sure the Marina Blvd folks would love that….

  7. Posted by Fishchum

    I think terminating the F Line at Ft. Mason is probably the safest play. It’s still an easy, flat walk to the Chestnut Street shops and restaurants, and I think running the line all the way down the Marina Green would receive too much opposition from Marina Blvd. residents.

  8. Posted by sixtypercenttogether

    New curb ramps were just installed at Marina Blvd and Webster, and that involved tearing up a portion of the old tracks embedded in the sidewalk. You could see the old railroad ties piled up. Given this, it seems doubtful that they would try to continue the line all the way to Marina Green.
    Also, what kind of ridership would you get in the marina? Rich people don’t ride muni.

  9. Posted by sf

    Seems like a great use of funds and relatively affordable considering other transit projects in the city and state. I wish they didn’t travel so darn slow, though. It reminds me of being in Budapest, which isn’t exactly a first world modern city (like we pretend to be).

  10. Posted by DanRH

    Love the idea.
    Run it there and then, if that’s a hit, examine possibly running it further.
    I think I read somewhere how when they first put that F-line in to go to the wharf, they thought it wouldn’t be used too much and the actual ridership blew way past their expectations.

  11. Posted by redseca2

    I like the idea of the extension, but I worry when MUNI consolidates long routes into a single line. When they do, chaos theory seems to take over, the chance of some sort of delay becomes near 100%, and maintaining a schedule becomes impossible.
    I would suggest an F line that travels the Market Street corridor from Castro to the Ferry Building, and then a G line that covers the Ferry Building to Fort Mason, or whatever the final northern terminus becomes.

  12. Posted by Anon94123

    Marina Green, Crissy Field, Presidio Parade (Disney Museum), Fort Point and Golden Gate Bridge. Why not!? It would become one of the most spectacular memorable transit journeys in the entire world. Extend it further, ” Make no small plans”.

  13. Posted by curmudgeon

    Ridership on the F is much higher than it “should” be according to any reasonable projections. Because it is slow, doesn’t save that much time, and there sometimes more efficient options (like Muni Metro on the Market Street segment).
    However, people just love the historic streetcar, so it’s popular with both tourists and locals. I have no doubt at all that the connection to Fort Mason would be popular, and even at twice the cost would be worth the investment. The major problem.
    The solution that redseca2 mentions (splitting the F) is one that has been discussed for years, and included running the streetcar south to the ballpark to make a waterfront line (I forget how they deal with the high platform issue). I think the issue isn’t so much demand as operating costs and equipment availability. There are only so many historic streetcars…we may actually need to have some modern ones at some point!

  14. Posted by James

    The extension to the Presidio along Marina Green has been much discussed, and the fear of it is one of the main sources of opposition even to this connection to Fort Mason. The people who oppose it know how excited other people get about a full extension, so they oppose ANY extension on the grounds of “preserving the Presidio”. Best to not push for any larger plans, as it makes the Fort Mason extension less likely.

  15. Posted by James

    redseca2: your proposed “G” line is already planned, but it’s called the E-Embarcadero. It would run from Aquatic Park to CalTrain. The problem is they don’t have enough historic streetcars to operate the line.

  16. Posted by Can't think of Cool Name

    As mentioned earlier, I can’t see how the historic cars can stop at Folsom, Brannan, 2nd, & CalTrain. I’ve looked up and down at those stops and don’t see any type of system that lets people on/off at a street level, like the historic cars do. Those stops are all evaluated from what can tell.
    To me, it means that the E line would be historic cars from Aquatic Park all the way to CalTrain, and not stopping at Folsom, Brannan and 2nd (and assumed some type of station modification for the trains at CalTrain station). Or, the Muni trains would be used for the E line, but think of the chaos (also mentioned earlier) in mixing both of those types of trains between Aquatic Park & the Ferry Building (where F turns and heads up Market)
    I don’t get it, but I do hope it can be pulled off…

  17. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    The F line is a victim of it’s own success.
    The line is one of the few that actually goes where large volumes of people want to go but, as noted by most of the posts above, is slow, over crowded and cramped.
    Unless muni is willing to upgrade the service to improve speed and address the high volume of passengers this is going to become something used primarily by tourists and not really serve city residents.
    Of course if they push the central subway through north beach and east across the peninsula those two light rail options would compliment each other nicely.

    • Posted by Orland

      I think a Yogiism is appropriate here: “Nobody goes there any more — too crowded”

  18. Posted by BobN

    The buried lines go all the way INTO the Presidio, all the way to near the Warming Hut, IIRC. Heck, they probably went all the way to the Fort under the bridge at one point.
    Of course, historically, people were smart enough to get out of the way of a street car passing along the same route as runners and peds. Today, I doubt we could manage it without barriers and fences.

  19. Posted by david m

    agree totally that this no-brainer extension would would perfectly in conjunction with a central subway extension to north point. also agree that this one should be run as the far less frequent e-line, from ballpark/caltrain all the way to fort mason, rather than running it as an f-line from castro all the way to fort mason. that’s how it was envisioned by market street railway back a decade ago, and that seems like the best option for managing rider loads (especially during crush periods).
    i took the time to read the draft eir the feds published and i’m very pleased to see that opinion – public and professional – seems to be very solidly behind the north loop option, which sees the turnaround built north of the tunnel exit on fort mason parking spaces. this keeps green intact, mitigates interference with traffic patterns, and doesn’t harm in any way a potential future extension into the marina.

  20. Posted by Patrick

    Chicago tourist while riding a diesel F bus. “The streetcar we rode this morning was an authentic, historical experience. Now this is CTA. (Chicago Transit Authority)

  21. Posted by sfrealist

    “Rich people don’t ride muni.”
    Riiiiiiight. That’s why there aren’t ever any people on the 30 line in the Marina going downtown

  22. Posted by jake

    The richest people you know are frequently the most innocuous. I am rich, I don’t have a car, and I ride muni or walk given the tiny size of this 7×7 city.

  23. Posted by Rumble

    The F line tends to be used by tourists anyway along the embarcadero, so why not extend it all the way to the GG bridge?

  24. Posted by sfjhawk

    As a current soma resident (4 years next week!), former Marina resident (9 years in 2 different places), and someone who uses the F Market at least x3 week, love this plan and hope they execute upon it soon. Anecdotally, I do run into my share of tourists near the Ferry Building try to find a muni-only option of getting to the GGB and this gets them that much closer.

Comments are closed.

Recent Articles