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Party over: SF removes red plastic cups from Central Subway station drain holes

Central Subway platform with party cups
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency removed the party cups from drainage holes at the Union Square-Market Street Central Subway station. | Courtesy SFMTA

The red plastic party cups spotted in drain holes at one station along San Francisco’s new $2 billion Central Subway line have been removed.

Riders shared photos and video on social media of classic party cup—best known for use at college ragers—spouting water during the subway’s first weekend of service.

"They were an interim solution to extend the (drainage) water past the wall, and they will be replaced by proper drain holes. They have already been removed," San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Erica Kato said.

Red plastic party cups had been spotted being used for drainpipes at the Union Square-Market Street Central Subway station during the subway’s first weekend of service on Nov. 20, 2022. | Courtesy @djbaskin

Water intrusion is an ongoing issue for the subway system. Persistent leaks delayed the opening, according to an independent monitor tracking the project on behalf of the federal government.

"We’re using the weekdays to continue critical operator training and are finalizing any changes or construction fixes that need to occur for January’s official opening," Kato said.