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Release date: April 19, 2012

*** Press Release ***

Union Square/Market Street Station Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Union Square/Market Street Station Renderings (.pdf)

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages the transportation network in the city, today announced that the contract for the Central Subway Union Square/Market Street Station has gone out for bid, marking the latest advance in this major improvement to San Francisco’s public transportation system.

The station, a subway station with entrances in Union Square Plaza and at the corner of Market and Stockton streets, will ease travel to and from downtown and Union Square, home to the city’s highest concentration of jobs and a world-class array of hotels, retailers, entertainment venues and restaurants.

“The Union Square area, already a vital job center and a premier destination for San Franciscans and visitors, will benefit greatly from the Central Subway,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, whose district includes Union Square Plaza. “The Central Subway and the Union Square/Market Street Station will facilitate travel to this vibrant district.”

The station will connect directly to the existing Powell Street Station through an underground, concourse-to-concourse walkway. This efficient link will provide customers quick, easy access to BART and the other Muni Metro lines and improve connections to other Bay Area public transportation systems.

The station was designed by the Central Subway Design Group, a joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Michael Willis Architects and Kwan Henmi Architects. The design emphasizes brightness, openness and natural light to complement and enrich Union Square plaza. The station’s main entrance, to be located at the corner of Geary and Stockton streets, will blend into the existing landscape by emulating the aesthetic of the plaza. Inside, terrazzo floors, plaster walls and glass and aluminum ceilings will infuse the station with light.

Bids for the estimated $210 million project are due July 11. A pre-bid conference and contractor meet-and-greet event are planned for May 16. Station construction is on track to start in early 2013 and finish in 2017. The UMS contract can be found online here:

“The Central Subway will enhance connections to BART, Caltrain, Muni Metro and Muni trolley coach routes, making travel faster, easier and more efficient through this busy corridor,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “The Union Square/Market Street Station, with its direct link to the Powell Street Station, will make it easier for our customers to transfer between lines.”

Artwork by Erwin Redl and the artistic team of Jim Campbell and Werner Klotz will create a vibrant, contemporary ambience within the station. Redl’s work, Lucy in the Sky, will cover the ceiling of the station’s main concourse with hundreds of translucent light panels aligned in a diamond grid. Each panel will be illuminated by colored lights and will shimmer and shift in color, creating an ever-changing and dazzling spectacle for transit customers. Campbell and Klotz’s artwork, Reflected Loop, will be installed in the station’s concourse and platform. The work, a series of highly polished stainless steel discs supported from above by thin steel rods, will wind its way through the station, creating a circuit of light and ambient reflections. Central Subway station artwork has been selected in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission through its Public Art Program.

The remaining two Central Subway construction contracts, for the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station and for trackwork, systems and the 4th and Brannan surface station, are on track for advertisement by summer.

About the Central Subway Project

The Central Subway Project will extend the T Third Line from the 4th Street Caltrain Station to Chinatown, providing a direct, rapid transit link from the Bayshore and Mission Bay areas to SoMa and downtown. Four new stations will be built along the 1.7-mile Central Subway Project alignment – a street-level station at 4th and Brannan streets and three subway stations: Yerba Buena/Moscone Station, Union Square/Market Street Station and Chinatown Station.

Travel times through this busy corridor will be significantly reduced by the Central Subway. During peak hours, current travel between Stockton and Washington streets and 4th and King streets takes more than 20 minutes on Muni trolley coach routes. On the Central Subway, the same trip will take less than eight minutes.

The Central Subway Project is the second phase of the SFMTA’s Third Street Light Rail Transit Project. The first segment of the T Third Line opened in April 2007, restoring light rail service to a high transit-ridership area of San Francisco for the first time in 50 years.

The Central Subway is expected to open to the public in 2019.

For construction updates and project information, please visit us online at, at and on Twitter at

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