San Francisco is on its way to hosting the most significant transit hub on the United State’s western coast. The Transbay Transit Center will connect eight Bay Area counties through 11 transit lines, including the California High Speed Rail that is being developed, and include new housing, retail, commercial and open space. It’s a 4.5 billion dollar investment for the region’s future.
The former site, constructed in 1939, helped connect San Francisco to the East Bay. At its peak, it served 26 million passengers a day. That number has since dropped, for several reasons. Now it’s time for an update.
The new project consists of three elements:
- Replacing the current transit terminal with the modern one;
- Extending CalTrain 1.3 miles from its current stop to the Transbay Center;
- Creating a new neighborhood with 3,000 homes (35 percent of which will be affordable), retail, commercial space and an elevated park.
The first phase of the project is targeted for completion in 2017 and will initially be used by AC Transit and other bus services. Phase 1 includes the Transbay Tower, a “train-box” in the station’s lowest level, bus ramps, a bus storage facility and the landscaping of the parks and plazas. Start dates for Plan 2 are not established.
Funding comes from several sources, with the largest being the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, land sales, loans and the Prop K Sales Tax. The first phase alone is projected to cost 1.6 billion dollars. Fortunately, it looks as if the project will meet the budget.
Upon completion of Phase 1, the site is expected to serve 100,000 transit riders daily.
This is a huge step in the right direction. The San Francisco Bay Area has been lagging on transit infrastructure and housing development for decades. As a result, we have sprawled out, exporting our housing away from cities and jobs. Building the Transbay Center will show that San Francisco is committed to being a transit-friendly, sustainable city.
What steps is your city taking to become a public transit-oriented community?
Credits: Images by Robert Poole. Data linked to sources.