The Transbay Transit Center Project is a visionary transportation and housing project that transforms downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional transportation system by creating a “Grand Central Station of the West” in the heart of a new transit-friendly neighborhood. The $4 billion project will replace the current Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets in San Francisco with a modern regional transit hub connecting eight Bay Area counties and the State of California through 11 transit systems: AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, Paratransit and future High Speed Rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim.
The project consists of three interconnected elements:
- Replacing the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets
- Extending Caltrain and California High Speed Rail underground from Caltrain’s current terminus at 4th and King streets into the new downtown Transit Center
- Creating a new neighborhood with homes, offices, parks and shops surrounding the new Transit Center
The first phase of the project will create a new five-story Transit Center with one above-grade bus level, ground-floor, concourse, and two below-grade rail levels serving Caltrain and future California High Speed Rail. Phase I will also create new bus ramps that will connect the Transit Center to a new off-site bus storage facility and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), the new Transit Center will feature a 5.4 acre park on the roof of the bus and rail station. A complementary Transit Tower designed by PCPA and developed by Hines will be built adjacent to the Transit Center and will provide additional financing for the project.
Passenger service for all the transit systems using the Transit Center will continue uninterrupted while construction of the new facility continues. The project broke ground on the Transbay Temporary Terminal facility in December 2008. Operations at the Temporary Terminal began in August 2010 and the temporary facility now serves transit riders while the new Transit Center is being constructed.
The former bus ramps servicing the Transbay Terminal were designed to accommodate the rail systems that used the Terminal in the 1940s and 1950s. New elevated bus ramps that enter the Transit Center from the west will eliminate the need for the seismically deficient east bus loop, while maintaining direct bus connections to and from the Transbay Transit Center and the Bay Bridge. The new reduced bus ramp system will also open up parcels of land for development opportunities that will help finance the transportation facilities.
Once constructed, the new Transit Center will accommodate more than 100,000 passengers each weekday and more than 45 million people per year and make public transportation a convenient and accessible option for everyone who lives, works and visits the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Transbay Transit Center and Caltrain Downtown Extension Program costs are estimated at $4.5 billion, escalated to the year of expenditure (YOE). The first phase of the project includes construction of the above-ground portion of the new intermodal Transit Center, bus ramps, and bus storage facility. It also includes construction of the Temporary Terminal to serve passengers while the new Transit Center is under construction. On June 11, 2009, the TJPA Board directed the Transit Center’s architect to also include the below-grade rail levels in the design, rather than just rail foundations as had been previously planned in the phasing. The TJPA is actively seeking funding for the rail tunnels. The second phase of the project will complete the 1.3-mile extension of the Caltrain rail line from Fourth and King streets underground into the new Transit Center.