Public transportation is one of the team's major concerns with a San Francisco site.
Niners Chief Financial Officer Larry MacNeil said the Hunters Point proposal would require that 25 percent of patrons travel on public transit.
When asked what the percentage is now at Candlestick, MacNeil said 18 percent of fans arrive on buses.
Well, that doesn't sound so insurmountable. Add a few more buses. Maybe Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who wants the team to stay in San Francisco, would help find the cash for a light-rail line. -SF Chronicle
Big freaking 'maybe,' to say the least. But stadium or no,
SF Lennar is building thousands of homes on HP come hell or high water (certainly the latter) and those people will need more transit options than currently exist in that corner of town.
Enter a blast from the past: Muni's old H line
The H line streetcar at Jackson and Van Ness
Then and Now: Potrero Avenue with and without H line tracks
But those milquetoast plans fall short of even the corridor's current needs. Plans for the city's growth - which put all new housing on the East side of town - will require a much more robust rapid transit route.
I propose a subway under Van Ness and Potrero Avenues, coming above ground in the India Basin industrial area and running along Evans Street to Hunters Point.
This line would connect new housing and a potential 49ers stadium at the old shipyard to a possible extension of the Central Subway at Van Ness and Bay or North Point. This crosstown route would link with the T-Third, JKLMN lines at Van Ness Station and the Central Subway, giving riders a way to get to SF's dense inner residential neighborhoods without travelling through downtown.
I've also shown it connecting with a new BART tunnel under Geary and across the bay. That project is just so worth while that for the purposes of this post I'm going to ignore any opposition or obstacles to its completion.
This will be an expensive line, but we'll get what we pay for. By going underground along almost all of the route, Muni avoids the chokepoints that befuddle all current lines. There really is no way to avoid those chokepoints and the delays they would inevitably cause without complete grade separation. Tunneling is more expensive, but every time the trains save 10 minutes they would otherwise kill trapped in the cluckerf** of Market/Mission and Van Ness it will be worth it.
But, as I've said before, Muni should resist the urge to treat the new H-Potrero Van Ness as a replacement for the lines that currently serve that route. If the population of our city is to grow, our transit ridership also needs to grow. That will only be possible if the capacity of Muni's network increases as well. Furthermore, the H line as drawn above is a rapid line, with very limited stops. As such it cannot fill the niches that current local, albeit slower, lines occupy now.
If Chuck Nevius can get Ms. Feinstein to help pay for such a line, awesome. But I believe strongly that we need to rebuild the political will to raise the revenue necessary to build this and other lines, as well as properly fund Muni's operational costs. The price tag on this kind of project is truly an investment in the city's future wellbeing. Whatever the upfront costs, they are outweighed by the benefits down the road.