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.


  • Dexter Wong

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

  • Rich

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

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