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San Francisco's Most-Wanted (Nonexistent) Subway Lines

The city asked people to sketch out their dream lines; here are the results.

The most-popular imaginary lines are colored red, existing lines are gray. (Connect SF)

Back in August Connect SF, a multiagency body planning the future of San Francisco transportation, asked people to sketch their ideal subway lines on an interactive map. Well, more than 2,600 folks responded, revealing a deep longing for expanded train service across much of the city (and sea).

Here’s a rundown of these dream lines from local real-estate outlet SocketSite:

Dominating the responses, both online and in pop-up survey stations, was the development of a subway line along the length of Geary Boulevard.

The other most frequently envisioned new lines and corridors included a north-west extension of the Central Subway and new lines tracking Lombard, Van Ness Avenue, Divisadero, 16th Street, Potrero, Ocean and 19th Avenue.

And while camouflaged by the lack of a discrete survey path, if all the individual lines were combined, an envisioned connector between San Francisco and Alameda to Oakland would glow a bright red.

That last line is a representation of the mythical second transbay tube, which supposedly would alleviate congestion and pave the way for 24-hour service. Expect it to be built, along with that line running under the Golden Gate Bridge, almost certainly not in your lifetime.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.