Central Subway gets federal funding boost

San Francisco’s ambitious plan to build a subway into Chinatown just got a little nudge forward from the federal government.

The Central Subway project, which recently had its price tag increased by $278 million, will get a little relief from the feds in the form of a $9.9 million grant award announced today.

After recent analysis, the total price of the project was refigured at $1.58 billion, and service on the line isn’t scheduled to begin until 2018, two years later than first projected.

Those new calculations didn’t deter the federal government from investing in the project, with the grant funding going toward ongoing preliminary engineering studies.

The Central Subway will extend Muni’s light rail service from SoMa into Chinatown, and possibly further north into points like North Beach and Fort Mason.

In total, the federal government is expected to contribute $1 billion out of the $1.58 billion needed for the project.

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