FAQs

What is the Transbay Program?

The Transbay Transit Center Program is a visionary transportation and housing project that will transform 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 about $4.5 billion Program will replace the 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. The Program consists of three interconnected elements:

  • Transit Center:  Replacing the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets with the new Transit Center, stretching just south of Mission Street from about Second to Beale streets
  • Downtown Extension (DTX):  Extending Caltrain 1.3 miles underground from its current terminus at 4th and King streets into the new downtown Transit Center and designing the rail system to accommodate California’s High Speed Rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim
  • Transit Center District:  Creating a new neighborhood with homes, offices, parks, and shops surrounding the new Transit Center

Why do we need the Transbay Program?

It is time for public infrastructure to meet the needs of the 21st century. The Transbay Transit Center Program will centralize a fractured regional transportation network — making transit connections between all points in the Bay Area fast and convenient. The new Transit Center will make public transit a convenient option, as it is in other world-class cities, allowing people to travel and commute without the need for a car, thereby decreasing congestion and pollution. The Transit Center will provide a downtown hub in the heart of a new transit-friendly neighborhood with new homes, offices, parks, and shops literally steps from the doorsteps of area residents.

When will I be able to use the Transit Center?

The Transit Center building will be completed in 2017, and initially will be used by AC Transit and intercity buses, operating in an outstanding facility with well designed public spaces and a variety of retail uses. The underground rail extension for the Caltrain rail line and future high speed rail is environmentally cleared and the timing of construction will depend on funding availability.

What is the schedule for construction of the Transbay Program?

The Transbay Program will be constructed in two phases. The first phase includes construction of the above-ground portion of the new Transit Center, the below-grade rail levels in the Transit Center (the “Train Box”), and the bus ramps connecting the Transit Center to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The first phase of the Program is currently under construction and is expected to be complete in the fall of 2017. The second phase of the Program includes construction of the Downtown Rail Extension. The second phase of the Program will begin construction based on the availability of full funding.

How many people will use the Transbay Program facilities?

At completion of the Program, the Transit Center will accommodate more than 100,000 passengers each weekday and up to 45 million people per year. We estimate that there will be about 33,000 Caltrain rail trips to the Transbay Transit Center from the Peninsula each weekday. The California High Speed Rail Authority estimates that its system is expected to transport up to 32 million intercity passengers annually and another 10 million commuters.

How many new jobs will the Transbay Program create?

The Program will create an estimated 125,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, including approximately 8,300 construction jobs and 27,000 permanent jobs once the Transit Center is completed. It will open up a significant number of employment opportunities for people that live in San Francisco and along the Peninsula corridor.

How much will the Transbay Program cost and how is it funded?

The Transbay Program costs are estimated at about $4.5 billion, escalated to the year of expenditure (YOE). The Program construction is funded by a variety of federal, state, regional, and local sources. Among other things, the Program is funded by a $400 million ARRA grant, a $171 million TIFIA loan, land sales, bridge toll funds, regional measures, local sales tax, and other sources.

Is bus service available while the Transit Center is under construction?

Bus service will continue uninterrupted at a Temporary Terminal between Main/Beale and Howard/Folsom streets, just a few blocks southeast of the former Transbay Terminal and future Transit Center. Groundbreaking for the Temporary Terminal occurred in December 2008. For more information on the Temporary Terminal, visit www.TemporaryTerminal.org

Who is designing the Transbay Transit Center?

After a 10-month international Design & Development Competition, the TJPA Board unanimously selected Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects as lead architect of the Transit Center. To learn more about PCPA, please visit www.pcparch.com

Who is in charge of the Project?

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) has primary jurisdiction with respect to all matters concerning the financing, design, development, construction, and operation of the Transbay Program. The TJPA is a joint exercise of powers authority created by the City and County of San Francisco, the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, and Caltrans (ex officio). The TJPA is managed by TJPA staff and is overseen by its six-member Board of Directors.