SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Mayor Ed Lee and supporters of a Muni underground that will run from South of Market to Chinatown rallied at City Hall Friday to counteract criticism of a transit project recently derided as a subway to nowhere.

The political overtones were heavy as Mayor Lee chastised Republicans in Congress and one of his mayoral rivals, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, for trying to dismantle a transit project promised to the Chinatown community for more than 20 years.

“I don’t think Chinatown is nowhere. I don’t think South of Market is nowhere,” Lee said.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Demonstrators chanting “Central Subway equals jobs and justice” pointed to the thousands of construction jobs the project would create.

Lee rallied the crowd with a message about the long-term impact of easy public transit between the Caltrain Station and neighborhoods on the other side of the Stockton Tunnel.

“It is a vital economic and transit link for our future that will link the growing concentration of jobs and housing downtown and South of Market to neighborhoods,” he said.

Even another of his mayoral rivals, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, also got in a dig about recent criticism of the project.

Herrera said this week the city needs to revisit plans for the Central Subway now that the price has tripled to $1.5 billion and the subway will follow a different route than the one originally proposed.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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