American taxpayers officially on the hook for a 1.7 mile tunnel in SF

I blogged earlier this week about the fact that San Francisco, which is broke, was trying to find $137 million so that the feds would provide it with almost $1 billion dollars in funds to build a 1.7 mile subway tunnel. Federal money, of course, is your money. This is not money belonging to beleaguered San Francisco taxpayers, who could move elsewhere if they no longer want to fund the madness. This money — almost $1 billion — comes from you, the American taxpayer, no matter where you live. There’s nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.

Of course, had San Francisco been unable to find $137 million in its empty coffers, the feds would have kept the money to spend on some other boondoggle. But we, the taxpayers, weren’t so lucky. By hook and by crook, SF has located the cash:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and transportation officials say they have found the $137 million the Municipal Transportation Agency needs to secure $942 million in federal funds for the Central Subway project.

Read more here. And if you’re a Californian, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that $106 million of that $137 million came from state bonds. Oh, yeah!

Just so everyone is clear here, we’re talking about a $1.6 billion cost for a 1.7 mile stretch of subway — or, almost $100 million per every one-tenth of a mile to dig a long (and functional) hole in the ground. Also, as I mentioned in my earlier post, all of this building and funding and boondoggling comes at a time when public transportation ridership in San Francisco is dropping. Oh, yeah!

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

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