Pick an Exciting Name for Muni’s Boring Machine

central subway
Photo by Steve Rhodes

The machines that will build the Central Subway tunnels need a name, and the SFMTA is asking you to vote on names of prominent San Francisco women to bestow on the machines for good luck.

Your choices:

  • Big Alma
  • Juana
  • Mom Chung
  • Firebelle Lil
  • Mary Ellen

These machines will excavate and construct the Central Subway’s northbound and southbound tunnels, traveling from SOMA through Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach.

I must admit that I didn’t know much about these prominent women of San Francisco, and at first I misread “boring” for “uninteresting” (also known as Movies Starring Jennifer Aniston).  To clarify, the voting website has more information about these women. This morning, @bartdiaries told me that “Anyone who doesn’t vote for Big Alma is a damned fool and should have their voting rights taken away.” You can decide for yourself and vote for your favorite two names at the Central Subway website.



  1. Dexter Wong

    Considering that the machine will travel under Chinatown, “Mom Chung” would be an appropriate name for one of them.

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  2. Rich

    Mary Anne, from Mike Mulligan fame. Rather fitting since SFMTA wants to leave them chilling underground indefinitely post-digging…

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