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Friday, October 12, 2012    

San Francisco MTA receives $942 million in New Starts funding for light-rail extension to Chinatown

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will provide $942.2 million in New Starts funds to extend San Francisco's Third Street light-rail system through the city's Chinatown neighborhood, returning light rail to the Third Street corridor for the first time in 50 years, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced yesterday.

The federal dollars are being provided to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) for its Central Subway project, which will operate from the downtown business district north to Chinatown along one of the city's most heavily traveled corridors, U.S. Department of Transportation officials said in a prepared statement.

"San Francisco's light-rail system already plays a vital role in connecting hard-working families, seniors and visitors with the city's major employment and medical centers, colleges and recreational facilities," said LaHood.

The project is being funded through the FTA's Capital Investment Program (New Starts). The $1.6 billion project will extend Muni light-rail service by 1.7 miles of the T-Third line from the 4th Street Caltrain station to Chinatown. Work also includes the construction of four new stations.

"This project will bring much-needed relief to tens of thousands of riders who have had to wait in long lines and squeeze onto over-crowded buses in one of the most densely populated urban communities in the country," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.

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