CUPERTINO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced Wednesday that it has received another $20 million in federal funds for the controversial Central Subway project. This comes as the $1.7 billion project is facing increasing criticism for being too expensive and poorly planned.

MTA director Ed Reiskin joined Central Subway supporters, including the president of the Union Square Business District, to say the project is on schedule, on budget and fully supported by the federal government.

“It gives us reason for great optimism in terms of being able to move this project forward,” said Reiskin. “The Central Subway is necessary for the future of San Francisco.”

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The 1.7 mile subway will connect San Francisco’s Chinatown to the Caltrain Station near AT&T Park via Union Square.

Opponents have recently been criticizing the Subway’s transit value and costs.

It has become an issue in the city’s mayoral race, something Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Jim Lazarus, a supporter, is denouncing.

“This project is worth every penny that every level of government and the taxpayers are putting into it, and it’s time to stop making this a political whipping boy,” said Lazarus.

The MTA expects the lion’s share of the funding to come through a federal grant to be awarded early next year, after which the tunnel boring is expected to start.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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