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Bus service to replace T-Third Street line ahead of Chase Center opening

SFMTA plan to replace Third Street platforms puts trains out of commission

Last week, SFMTA announced that buses will replace trains on the T-Third Street Muni line starting intermittently in November and continuing into February of 2019.

The substitution will allow the city to replace the UCSF Mission Bay boarding platforms between South Street and 16th Street, which will be closed for an extensive overhaul.

SFMTA has opted to replace the two old Mission Bay train platforms with a single “larger center platform [that] will service inbound and outbound trains” at the same time, similar to the T-Third platforms nearer to Caltrain.

The 160-square-foot platform near the UCSF campus will double in size during construction. The city expects the renovation to increase the Muni stop’s capacity ahead of the opening of nearby Chase Center, future home of the Golden State Warriors.

In all, Muni plans quite an overhaul of this single station stop, including:

  • Removal of the two existing platforms at Third and South Streets
  • A new center island platform
  • Track widening to accommodate the new island platform
  • New overhead wires to power trains
  • Update utility lines and street lights
  • Upgrade traffic signals at Third and South Streets and Third Street and Campus Lane.

Work on the platform will continue through at least April of 2019, according to the current timeline (which is somewhat hazy). SFMTA advises that riders should “use Mission Rock and Mariposa stations as an alternative.”

The platform work also means that T-Third trains will run sporadically for the next three months. Buses will replace trains on November 25, then for November 30 through December 3, and then from January 4 until “late February.”

“During these bus substitutions, those traveling underground on Muni Metro towards Bayshore Blvd. and Sunnydale Avenue will transfer to a T-Third bus at Embarcadero,” the SFMTA blog advises, adding, “Please watch for signs that will direct you to T-Third bus.”

According to an SFMTA staff report, the city estimates the entire project to run $33 million. “The original engineer’s estimate for the work was $27 million at the time the contract was advertised,” but costs had already jumped by the time the start date approached.

Staffers blamed a rise in contractor rates, particularly “glazing, drywall, casework and MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing)” thanks to the rate of local demand.