Transbay Transit Center

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Transbay Transit Center
Caltrain CAHSR
Transbay Transit Center construction on 1st Street.jpg
Under construction on 1st Street in January 2017
Other names Salesforce Transit Center
Location South of Mission Street from Second to Beale Streets
San Francisco, California
Coordinates 37°47′23″N 122°23′48″W / 37.7897°N 122.3966°W / 37.7897; -122.3966Coordinates: 37°47′23″N 122°23′48″W / 37.7897°N 122.3966°W / 37.7897; -122.3966
Owned by Transbay Joint Powers Authority
Platforms 3 islands
Tracks 6
Train operators California High-Speed Rail
Bus operators AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, SolTrans, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach
Connections BART and Muni Metro (via future pedestrian tunnel to Embarcadero station)
Structure type multi-level
Bicycle facilities Yes
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Website Transbay Transit Center
Opening August 12, 2018 (planned)[1][2]
Future rail service
Preceding station   Caltrain roundel.svg Caltrain   Following station
toward Tamien
Gilroy during peak hours
Baby Bullet
California High-Speed Rail
TerminusPhase I
toward Anaheim

The Transbay Transit Center (officially Salesforce Transit Center) is an intermodal transit station under construction in downtown San Francisco, it will serve as the primary bus terminal - and later rail terminal - for the San Francisco Bay Area. Part of the San Francisco Transbay development, the construction is governed by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA). The 1,430-foot (440 m)-long building is located one block south of Market Street, San Francisco's primary commercial and transportation artery.

Construction of the new terminal was necessitated by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which damaged the 1939-opened Transbay Terminal, and voters approved funds for the new Transbay Transit Center in 1999. Construction on the first phase, the aboveground bus terminal, began in 2010. Limited Muni bus service began in December 2017, and full service from AC Transit and other regional bus operators is expected to begin in August 2018. Construction has not begun on the second phase, the Downtown Rail Extension, which will add an underground terminal station for Caltrain and California High-Speed Rail.


Transbay Transit Center under construction in August 2017

The Transbay Transit Center is about 1,430 feet (440 m) long and 165 feet (50 m) wide. It occupies the middle third of the block between Mission Street to Howard Street (one block southeast of Market Street), and stretches from 2nd Street to Beale Street, the first phase of the project includes the aboveground structure plus a belowground shell for the second phase. The structure has four levels: the ground floor with entrances, retail space, and ticketing; the second floor with retail space and offices; the bus deck with bus bays surrounding a central waiting area, and the 5.4-acre (2.2 ha) rooftop park. The bus deck has a dedicated highway ramp to the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and an off-site bus storage facility under the western bridge approach. The rooftop park, designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, includes an amphitheater, a restaurant, and water features..[3] The inclusion of the park was part of the winning bid in the architectural design composition for the structure.

The building includes an free aerial tram to provide access from the street level (at Mission Street and Fremont Street) to the rooftop park, each tram vehicle will have a capacity of twenty passengers. Upon completion, the system will be the first aerial tram to operate in San Francisco since the closure of the tram at the Cliff House in 1961.[4]

The second phase of the project, constructed as part of the Downtown Rail Extension, will add a two-level underground train station to be served by Caltrain and California High-Speed Rail, the platform area will have three island platforms serving six tracks. A mezzanine with ticketing and waiting will be located above the platform and below the ground-level entrances. A pedestrian tunnel will be constructed below Beale Street to Embarcadero station, connecting the Transbay Transit Center with BART and Muni Metro,[5][6] the proposed second Transbay Tube, which may be used by Caltrain, CAHSR, and/or BART, may also connect to the Transbay Transit Center.[7]

Public art[edit]

Based on the policies established by the FTA encouraging the inclusion of public art in transportation facilities, the TJPA committed $4.75 million to fund the creation of public artwork for the Program.[8] Working with the San Francisco Arts Commission, the TJPA oversees the planning and development of the public art program. Currently there are five artists included in the program: James Carpenter, Julie Chang, Tim Hawkinson, Jenny Holzer and Ned Kahn.[8] In June 2017, SFAC and TJPA announced the planned Hawkinson installation would be cancelled as "the nature of the materials, the sculpture's size, and its location" made it "a particularly complex engineering task."[9]

  • James Carpenter's planned installation will be illuminated ceiling segments and benches along Shaw Alley, the pedestrian/retail corridor leading to the Transbay Transit Center.[10]
  • Julie Chang's planned installation will be the decorated terrazzo floor of the Grand Hall in the Transbay Transit Center.[11]
  • Tim Hawkinson's planned installation was a 41-foot (12 m) high sculpture to serve as a "guardian" for travelers. It was to have been partially constructed from material salvaged from the demolition of the Transbay Terminal, but due to cost and engineering issues, was cancelled.[12]
  • Jenny Holzer's planned installation will be a large scrolling LED sign approximately 11 feet (3.4 m) high, displaying text specific to the San Francisco Bay Area. The sign will be installed just below the elliptical skylight of the Grand Hall in the Transbay Transit Center.[13]
  • Ned Kahn's planned installation will be water jets on the rooftop of the Transbay Transit Center. The jets are designed to respond to the flow of buses on the deck below.[14]


Transbay Transit Center under construction in 2013

The Transbay Terminal opened in 1939 to serve Key System and East Bay Electric Lines commuter trains and Sacramento Northern Railway interurban trains operating over the new Bay Bridge. It was converted to a bus terminal in 1958 and began serving AC Transit commuter buses, the structure was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, necessitating replacement. In November 1999, San Francisco voters adopted Proposition H declaring that Caltrain shall be extended downtown into a new regional intermodal transit station constructed to replace the former Transbay Terminal, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) was founded in 2001 as the administrative joint powers authority for the project.[15]

The first phase of the project consists of the aboveground bus terminal, including retail spaces and the rooftop park, plus the concrete shell of the underground rail levels. It cost $2.4 billion, of which $500 million was for the underground shell.[16][1] On August 7, 2010, all bus service was moved to the interim Temporary Transbay Terminal,[17] the $18 million outdoor terminal is located on the block bounded by Folsom, Beale, Howard and Main Streets in the South of Market district, two blocks from the site of the former Transbay Terminal.[18] Ground was broken for the new Transbay Transit Center four days later.[19] Demolition of the former Transbay Terminal and ramps was completed in September 2011.[20] Amtrak Thruway bus service, which connects to Amtrak trains at Emeryville station, moved from the Ferry Station Post Office Building to the Temporary Transbay Terminal on March 2, 2015.[21] Under a naming rights deal announced on July 7, 2017, the transit center was given the official name of Salesforce Transit Center; the adjoined City Park took the official name Salesforce Park.[22]

The first phase was originally to be completed by the end of 2017, this was delayed to March 2018 in July 2017, and to June 2018 that December.[22][23] On December 26, 2017, Muni began operating route 5 buses into the ground level of the terminal in order to meet the federal deadline of some service to the terminal beginning in 2017,[24][25] on June 16, 2018, Muni began operating all 5, 5R, 7, 38, and 38R buses to the surface level of the terminal.[26]

As of March 2018, the first phase is expected to open for full bus service in August 2018.[1] Phase 2, the Downtown Rail Extension, had not been funded for construction. Without the revenue from the 100,000 expected rail passengers, the bus-only terminal is expected to lose as much as $20 million annually.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (March 20, 2018). "Missing the buses: Transbay Transit Center's opening delayed until at least August". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 6, 2018. 
  2. ^ King, John (July 10, 2018). "S.F.'s long-awaited Salesforce Transit Center sets opening date for Aug. 12". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 11, 2018. 
  3. ^ Transbay Transit Center (PDF), San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 2013, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-15 
  4. ^ Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (May 13, 2018). "From plaza to park by wire — aerial tram coming to Transbay Transit Center". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 29, 2018. 
  5. ^ Robinson, Melia (November 2016). "San Francisco's new $2.3 billion transit center could be the most expensive bus terminal in the world". Business Insider. 
  6. ^ Cordoba, Eric (September 14, 2016). "Major Capital Projects Update – Transbay Transit Center and Downtown Rail Extension" (PDF). San Francisco Country Transportation Authority. 
  7. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (June 22, 2007). "BART's New Vision: More, Bigger, Faster". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A1. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Public Art, Transbay Joint Powers Authority 
  9. ^ Saldana, Cesar (8 June 2017). "S.F. Cancels Multimillion-Dollar Transbay Terminal Art Project". KQED. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Public Art: James Carpenter". Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  11. ^ "Public Art: Julie Chang". Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  12. ^ "Public Art: Tim Hawkinson". Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  13. ^ "Public Art: Jenny Holzer". Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  14. ^ "Public Art: Ned Kahn". Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  15. ^ Transbay Joint Powers Authority. "Project Timeline". Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  16. ^ a b Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (March 6, 2017). "Costly Transbay Transit Center in busload of trouble". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  17. ^ "Move to Transbay Temporary Terminal Set for August 7" (Press release). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. July 1, 2010. 
  18. ^ King, John (August 30, 2016). "Stopgap bus terminal is an unusual oasis amid urban clamor". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  19. ^ "Historic Groundbreaking of First New High-Speed Rail Station in United States" (PDF) (Press release). Transbay Joint Powers Authority. August 11, 2010. 
  20. ^ Tyler, Carolyn (September 7, 2011). "Demolition of old Transbay Terminal complete". ABC7 News. Retrieved April 6, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Amtrak Thruway Connector Establishes First Rail Link to Transbay" (PDF) (Press release). Transbay Joint Powers Authority }date=March 2, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b King, John (July 7, 2017). "Salesforce buys naming rights to Transbay Transit Center". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  23. ^ Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (November 26, 2017). "1st bus service at new Transbay Transit Center slips into mid-2018". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  24. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (December 13, 2017). "Transbay Transit Center to see first bus line Dec. 26". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  25. ^ "New Weekday Route and Stops for the 5 Fulton" (Press release). San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority. December 26, 2017. 
  26. ^ McMillan, Erin (June 11, 2018). "Salesforce Transit Center Welcomes Muni Service This Week". San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority. 

External links[edit]