As we reported last month:

While the 5.4-acre rooftop park atop San Francisco’s future Transbay/Salesforce Transit Center is on track to be fully planted, landscaped and construction complete in June, the timing to complete the $2.3 billion building below has slipped anew.

Originally expected to be substantially complete at the end of 2017, the substantial completion date for the Transit Center building, which doesn’t include final inspections and corrections, has been pushed back to June as well.

And as such, it’s now looking like a late third-quarter opening for the Salesforce Transit Center, at the earliest and not including any future train services.

According to the latest draft report, the substantial completion date for the Transit Center building has now been pushed back to July, with three weeks budgeted for the aforementioned final inspections and corrections and the center expected to be “fully operational” in mid-August.

That being said, with the schedule seeming to be in constant state of flux, the Transbay Joint Power Authority (TJPA) is now pushing the contracting team, a joint venture between Webcor and Obayashi (WOJV), “to develop a revised strategy for achieving a reliable and achievable schedule that will afford TJPA to advance Operational Planning with certainty.”

We’ll certainly keep you posted and plugged-in.

49 thoughts on “Frustration Mounts as Timing for New Transit Center Slips Again”
  1. Of course there’s not going to be any train service. It was always on the back burner and any funding it had was quickly taken away. Anyone on here who remains optimistic is foolish. If you want a mass transit hub that actually consists of mass transit your best bet is to move to a city that already has it.

    1. I’m at 50/50 depending on the June ballot vote for increased tolls. Some of that funding is to complete service into Transbay if not mistaken.

      But that is where optimism stops until the region can figure out a better to fund transportation/transit other than toll roads. Unlike LA and Seattle that put large transportation bonds supported by regional sales taxes to the voters and got approval for multiyear, multi billions for transportation and transit build outs. The Bay area can support only so much on bridge tolls and a good chunk of that is wasted on poor bus services and an expansive ferry system.

      1. Seattle’s transportation bonds are primarily funded by property tax increases, so much so there’s a taxpayer revolt brewing. Either WA adopts an income tax (as CA has) or you’ll see a Prop. 13 type revolt sooner than later.

    2. Ah, the old “abandon hope alley who enter here” philosophy to urban development. How American of you.

      Your right. If you want that city, move outside of America; Americans are a bunch of whiners.

  2. Actually, the frustration is that HSR will never come to the TTC and even Caltrans making it there is iffy – if it happens it’s probably 15 plus years away. The ongoing delay by Crescent in starting construction on 524 Howard is in part the decreased value condos in that project would have now that it won’t be tied directly to an urban transit hub – a real transit hub a la LA’s Union Station or Portland’s own emerging Union Station.

    1. A real transport hub is Grand Central Terminal…the others are nice historic preservation projects.

      Back to this: I suggest they turn that expensive hole in the ground into a homeless shelter; at least “temporarily”, until something on rails arrives… maybe 2055?

      1. 15 years for train service sounds wildly optimistic given everything we gave seen. 25+ years seems more realistic.
        At some point soon BART is going to raise it’s hand and insist that a second Bay crossing be included in the planning. Then we are back by to square one.

        1. I bet there will never be a second Transbay Tube built, HSR will be scrapped and Caltrain will never be extended to the station.

          1. That’s basically betting that the California economy will not continue to expand and contrary to most predictions.

          2. I hope not Patrick because that would put the USA an entire century behind Japan in HSR development. While that’s just plain pathetic the real problem is that California’s economy would be hobbled by high transportation costs.

    2. So negative and pessimistic. If the Bridge toll increase goes through, part of the funds will go toward the DTX. I will say 8-10 years until we get Caltrain and HSR at the TTC.

      AS for the TTC delays , they should have held the developers to a timeline and penalize them for delays.

      1. Be interested to see if the Bridge toll increase goes through.
        The bridge was promised to cost $1.5 billion – it ended up costing $6.5 billion – which is why there is a toll increase on the ballot.
        People at MTC/BATA should have gone to jail. We have an amazingly corrupt system.

      2. It’s not being negative or pessimistic. It’s being realistic. Realistic as in 8 to 10 decades, not years.

  3. Meh. Keep the current 4th & King station if for no other reason that it’s geographically more centered.

    The current station is close enough to Mission Bay anyway.

    1. Transbay is a think big idea for which got you Salesforce tower and serious amount of new square footage. Stopping short and not extending an electrified Caltrains into Transbay would be a huge miss and whiff. Which I believe can be done by keeping 4th street station intact and in use. Simply put, Caltrains electrification will increase capacity and allow for both if desires.

      The other think big idea is dropped former Lee’s plan to reroute Caltrains and bury under a longer, more expensive tunnel for the sake of San Fran only. Instead, do the preliminary engineering and cost to see if it is feasible to take Caltrains past Transbay , under the bay, and over to East Bay & Capital Corridor. You don’t need HSR but imagine 110 service between Sacramento and San Jose via Transbay Center.

      1. Yes and no. HSR won’t come to the TTC. Initially, if built and given the way over budget situation, it will go to San Jose. At that point a future phase to extend it beyond SJ will be maybe bubbling at a time when an HSR from Seattle through to LA might be seriously considered. There is talk of it now but it’s pie in the sky. If HSR is going to go to Portland and Seattle and maybe Vancouver the logical choice, the economically feasible choice is to extend from SJ to Oakland and automatically be able to connect to HSR from the NW. Everything would be in place for a Union Station type complex in Oakland. With BART, AMTRAK, Capitol Corridor and HSR truly making for a vibrant transit hub. One advantage, the money saved by not coming up the Peninsula and digging a tunnel to the TTC could be used for seed money to build a second BART tube. From Oakland to the SSF area. Serving the mid-Peninsula tech and bio-tech job centers.

        1. I used to think that terminating HSR at SJ made sense for an early phase of deployment. But it really doesn’t require any additional investment to continue up the peninsula to SF, even at the earliest phase of deployment. There’s no reason not to continue on to SF for at least some of the trains.

          1. The current plan is to run HSR on Caltrain ROW into SF. No, it won’t truly be HSR, instead it will be much like the Chunnel was initially on the English side…semi-HSR, and then whoosh to Paris once you hit the coast. It can be upgraded to true HSR over time, but at least there will be a one seat ride from SF to Bakersfield. Which isn’t SF to LA, but it will be a very big bite of the apple.

    2. Hardly geographically centered unless you’re in Mission Bay. Caltrain runs along the easternmost part of the peninsula, isolating most of San Francisco.

    1. Skip BART completely and run Caltrain using intercity-type railcars with catenary wires to the TTC and then under the bay to serve communities in the East Bay on existing standard gauge rail.

      1. The lack of cohesion within the various BA rail systems is a folly. At this late date. The lack of a single BA transportation system is a folly at this late , late date. The redundant bureaucracies are expensive and inefficient. But we have to keep all those high paid government jobs with their great pension plans. Regional transportation be damned.

        The single rail system as is being rapidly built out/expanded in the Seattle/Tacoma/Redmond area almost is enough to make one cry. When one compares it to the sorry state of BA public transportation. CalTrain to TTC in 15 or 20 years? A second BART tube not even on the drawing boards. Seattle is opening major new rail lines every few years going forward through the mid-2030s. Huge extensions to Tacoma (the Dome and Stadium lines) are in the works and being designed to fully integrate with existing public transportation venues in that area. The lines will also go east to the burgeoning “outskirts” of the metro area.

        Raise the BB tolls? More money down a bottomless pit that will not be used to address transportation issues. California has about the highest gas tax in the nation – and thee worst maintained roads in the nation. Where does all that money go? It’s a shame and more so as no one is held accountable – think the massive overrun in costs for the BB and the years and years it took to build.axes

        1. Your critique of the BA’s poor accountability in spending is as accurate as your endless shilling for various PNW cities is tiring. As has been pointed out – more than a few dozen times – the whole of Metro SeaTac is about the size of San Jose (population wise)…it’s hardly comparable to here. I won’t consider feeling badly about our lack of a “second” tube until after they get their first.

          1. Metro Seattle/Tacoma/ has 3.61 million residents. Larger than the city of San Jose, by far, and larger than the SJ metro area – by far also.

          2. Ah but there’s the value of “about”, isn’t it? Actually I should have said Santa Clara (County) – rather than San Jose – with it’s 1.9M vs. King County (2.2M). I suppose you want to throw in little Pierce County, and those even smaller cow pastures ’round the Sound, but then shouldn’t the same go for the BA?

            The point is – still – that the Greater Bay Area and its nearly 9M residents is vastly bigger than Greater Seattle.

          3. Let’s compare apples to apples. The Bay Area’s CSA has a population of 8,837,789. The Seattle Tacoma CSA has a population of 4,764,000. I was using a smaller figure for Seattle/Tacoma – a non-CSA figure. The non-CSA number for the BA is somewhat over 7 million. The BA is certainly larger in population. That wasn’t the point. The point was the massive public transportation expansion going on in the Seattle metro prior to what is expected to be massive growth over the next several decades. The BA has already had it’s major growth and, unfortunately, did not build out public transportation in anticipation of that growth.

          4. Let’s: what I see in the BA is 1 Heavy Rail, 3 Light Rail and, depending on what you count, 1-3 Commuter Rail Systems that carry ~700K passengers daily. For Seattle-ish it’s 1/7 that.

            If they can grow their ridership, then more power to them, but they’ve got a looooong way to go. And let’s not compare an Apple to the growth prospects of a seedling.

          5. @ Notcom – so you’re saying that it’s *OK* that we have a disjointed and Balkanized public transit system, and that an area with 2x the population (and probably much more than 2x the property value) *shouldn’t* be able to open new rail lines on a regular basis?

            Criticize Dave’s OAK-boosting all you want, the fact is that the criticisms of him (and others on here) re: no 2nd bay tube, no Caltrain DTX, no HSR (on a reasonable timeline), *plus* the multiple Balkanized transit systems of the Bay Area are all legitimate and true. Transit in the Bay Area should be much, *much* better.

          6. I agree (save for the “Second tube” delusion).; and I did: “Your critique of the BA’s poor accountability in spending is as accurate,” perhaps you missed that part.

        2. The Gas Tax was JUST raised last year for the first time since the 1990’s. You expect the roads to magically all be fixed immediately? That money IS now flowing, and you will begin to see results over the next few years. But Jeesh, have a little patience!!!!

          1. The gas tax money will go to every thing but the roads. They will build fancy new office buildings in SF to house more bureaucracy.

            Who the heck voted for the Bay Area Headquarters Authority, or BAHA? No one. But the MTC runs it – and it soaks up our money. 375 Beale Street. Look it up. That’s where our money goes.

  4. Is it too late to go back to George Lucas and see if he would put his art collection in there? You could take the bus to see the future past in the white (more like a tacky bulb-outs of gray stamped metal sheet) elephant…

  5. I don’t consider this complete until there are high speed trains running through it: you know, a Transit Center, and not a bus stop.

    1. Beginning? Where’s any evidence it had any in the first place, other than select groups – many in SF – that would reap the benefits of massive public subsidies…

      1. Agree. The property owners in SOMA adjacent to the TTC saw the values of their land go way up and more so with the huge up-zoning that took place. In the end these developers and property owners made out like bandits, but SF residents? They got nada – the condos built around the TTC are unaffordable to the large majority of SF residents.

      2. Well, there was that whole winning-a-majority-at-the-ballot-box thing. HSR makes perfect sense; even if it took me *4* hours to go from SF to LA, I’d take that over the vagaries of TSA security waits, tarmac waits, and cab/Uber rights to SFO and LAX.

  6. The rational for high speed rail has shifted from providing an alternative to flying between SF/Silicon Valley and LA to economic development of the Central Valley. The entire project now looks like a bait-and-switch. It will never come to SF and the chances of it going all the way to LA are 50/50. Sadly, for the foreseeable future, the Transbay Terminal will remain the world’s most expensive bus station.

    1. Yep. It seems to be turning into a commuter rail system for cheap housing development in the Central Valley to feed San Jose area.

    2. Once the cost of JET-A fuel starts rising again HSR will look even more attractive as an alternative to flying. Double that if the federal government starts phasing out its subsidies on petroleum products.

  7. What the hell is wrong with construction in this country? Elsewhere, this would have been finished long ago. These contractors should get major fines. The Empire State Building was completed in a little over a year!

  8. North of 2 billion for a bus terminal that offers nothing substantial to San Franciscans. Remember – was it last year how the BOS covered that quarter billion cost overrun for this albatros. It took them two weeks to find the money. As for extending the Central Subway to North Beach when they had a chance? Two years of hand wringing how they couldn’t find the funds and all. What a bunch of sell-outs.

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