Having won the city’s design competition back in 2007, broken ground in 2010 and been renamed by way of a 25-year licensing deal last year, San Francisco’s new (Transbay) Salesforce Transit Center officially opens this weekend with a block party from noon to 4PM on Saturday, August 11.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and wrapped in a perforated aluminum skin, the $2.2 billion building is topped with a 5.4-acre, 2.5-block-long rooftop park.

Connected to a half-acre Mission Plaza at the base of the new Transbay/Salesforce Tower by a gondola, the rooftop park has been landscaped with more than 600 trees and 16,000 plants, with a large lawn/amphitheater, a children’s playground and a future restaurant space.

Below, the Center’s Grand Hall is skylit from above, with terrazzo floor elements designed by Julie Chang and a scrolling LED installation by Jenny Holzer. And as we first reported last month, the first four (4) leases for the center’s thirty-five (35) potential retail/restaurant/commercial spaces have been inked (but yet to be built out).

And while the below grade trainbox for the second phase of the project, the downtown extension of rail for Caltrain and High Speed Rail from Fourth and Townsend, has been constructed, the extension remains unfunded and rail service to the new center isn’t likely to be operational until 2030, at the earliest, as we also first reported earlier this year.

Regardless, congratulations to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority on a major milestone and addition to the city. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

125 thoughts on “The Opening of San Francisco’s New Transit Center is Here”
  1. Beautiful park. Now let’s avoid blocking out the sunshine with monster monoliths, creating a dead dark visage.

    1. By “monster monoliths”, do you mean the buildings that already exist, literally across the street and surrounding it in every direction?

      1. Ha… certainly not Ocean Beach. Sun hasn’t been seen in the outer lands in many weeks. Will keep ya all appraised tho.

    2. Just made it down to the park at lunch today.

      AMAZING. Repeat AMAZING. Props ro salesforce, and while I cringe about that, and refuse to even call it Salesforce park, I do give them credit for hosting events (Yoga, live music, makers events, childrens activities, etc), which I wasnt clear if they were free, but at least they will be offering things to help draw people.

      The views are spectacular and the various gardens quite well done.

      The transit aspect was of course non existent, but the park is already clearly a landmark. There were trourists, and worker bees, lots. It was packed. I wish it was bigger.

      This is huge!

    1. Yes, a very expensive bus station, although we were sold a transit center. Semantics. Proponents don’t think it’s much of a big deal that it will take 20+ years to get a train running because (1) we must remain patient for large-scale infrastructure projects to get built over the span of several generations and (2) they clearly don’t use transit.

      1. What we have gotten IS a transit center. For 5 Bay Area and local bus transit systems. For future rail into an already built train box. I don’t think it’s proponents that could care less if HSR or CalTrain arrives in 20+ years, I think it’s the opponents who are hoping that and many hope HSR is killed and CalTrain just keeps it’s 4th St terminal. Those are likely the people who don’t even use transit. I’m 69 yrs old. I may never see rail into this transit center but my niece and her children will. If this were a country that put people first (and their needs), we didn’t have politicians always trying to kill transit projects, keep them from being funded etc and we hadn’t had these massive military budgets all these years money could have been spent more form projects like this, nationwide HSR, better interconnectivity of existing transit. etc etc. Vote NO on the gas tax repeal.

        1. Spending money wastefully does not put people first; it is actually quite harmful. I will also vote YES on the gas tax repeal. The state does not need more money.

      2. So at $2.2 billion paying off that note works out to what $600k per day. How many people use this terminal. Even if you love mass transit there were probably better ways to spend that money.

          1. Well no, but here is a thought. Perhaps the reason mass transit sucks is that it is too expensive. Maybe a 1B dollar bus station and more and better busses would work out better? Would a 10B$ station have been a good idea? No it would suck up all the money available for transit we would have to sell all the busses fire all the drivers and just admire the fantastic station we had created. Balance in all things.

  2. So, will this…actually be patrolled and cleaned because it is new and people are concerned? I went to the Mission this week to visit my architect and had to wretch several times from the frequent open sewer evidence. Good luck here. #westsidebestside.

    1. Last I heard/read, this park is private, so a private security team could be/has been hired to patrol the park. Also from what I understand since the park is private, it can have shadows cast on it and not much can be done – except for people to move to sunlight as the shadows swift during the day…

      1. Heard on NPR there’s a fairly large contract with SFPD to patrol the park. Private security will be used as well.

      2. The park is not private. Salesforce paid for naming rights, some access controls in the evening, and focusted maintenance services but it is still a public park.

        1. Yes, it belongs to the public but the Salesforce oversight should keep it clean and free of camping homeless folks. I think it’ll be analagous to Buena Vista Park which has remained attractive and decent–except for the bathrooms–for quite a few years now.

      3. Last you heard? Where did you hear this from, and have you not been rading the news and developments throughout the past 5 years? Unbelieveable reading comprehension skills here, I tell ya. There is no way to miss that it is a PUBLIC PARK, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Go into the 181 Fremont building and ask for the elevator to the 5th floor park.

    2. I hope it is patrolled. My first (and cynical) reaction was to wonder how soon before a homeless encampment or shooting gallery sets up within the confines.

  3. $2.4B for a bus station/open air urinal. Good luck to the people who are responsible for keeping it clean, I hope they are getting hazard pay.

    1. It would be cool to see some more connections, like the underground passages in Japan, but all these construction projects have been built without any accommodations for those. Powell muni station to the Union Square station could have used a passage that also opened to Macy’s, etc. But it may have cost another 1B to build…

      1. You mean there IS NO connecting passage?! You must be kidding, I thought there is going to be, and that partially explained the interminable delays.

        So, a little elderly Asian lady from the Sunset wishing to shop in Chinatown will have to get off the N at Powell, ascend to the street and schlep uphill to Union Square Station, descend to transfer to the T for the ride to the next station at Washington. That’s absurd! Can this be confirmed?

        1. I take it back. Wiki says there’s going to be an underground passage to Powell. Don’t know if it’s going to include access to basement entrances for shops like Macy’s. Would have been a cool opportunity to enclose Hallidie Plaza to make it an underground mall.

          1. We were talking about Union Square to Powell, but yes, the transit center is supposed to connect to Embarcadero eventually.

    2. Wouldn’t an underground connection make more sense when both of the modes are underground (i.e. when – if! – the rail component is finished )?? I’m not sure how much transfer potential there is at present: I don’t remember any of those people who block the BART car with their luggage caravan telling me in answer to the question “OAK or SFO?”: “neither…Greyhound”.

    3. When the thing was still in the planning stage I remember there was a tunnel to Montgomery BART/Muni Station in the plan that opened into the lower (train) level. As far as I know, that tunnel remains undug but perhaps if/when there are trains on the lower level the tunnel will also be dug.

    4. What would be the point? The connection tube to BART would enter the station in the train box, which is not open.

  4. I know all the haters and bashers love to be negative, but im thrilled about this. I was so wanting to go to the grand opening tomorrow, but I will be up north in Dave’s favorite city this weekend.

    But I cannot wait to see this thing start opertaing. Hopefully it kickstarts the large batch of either proposed or planned/approved towers still waiting to go up around the area…now that people see the first phase coming online.

    1. I went to the party today (Saturday). I got there at about 5 minutes to noon. The crowd was incredible. I was able to ascend the long escalator to the second level and then up another escalator to the roof park. I don’t know if the number of attendees was a surprise to the organizers. There were lots of people everywhere. I didn’t bother with trying to get any of the food, the lines were too long. I did walk around the park for half an hour and then went back down the escalators. From the second level to ground, one of the escalators was out of service. The line to ride the escalator up snaked out of the grand hall. I’m not good at crowd estimating, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the Fire Department had to curtail entry due to hazardous over-crowding.

      1. They did essentially shut things down and started clearing the building at 3:00 PM though there was a posted schedule of entertainment in the Grand Hall through Four. Never got near the rooftop park. Did, however, see Emperor Norton who made an appearance.

  5. No I think RGBiv meant this one. Which honestly I’ve been baffled about as well.

    546 Howard would cast direct shadow on the newly-constructed park, which manages to have tall construction to its back, and to the south relatively fewer shade-throwing structures.

  6. This seems exclusive and a bit contrived. To me, it gives up on the street level vibrancy. It’s almost like screaming “we don’t want anything to do with San Francisco’s street vibrancy.”

    As you come off the Bay Bridge on the Fremont off ramp, there is this sterile feeling with giant steel and glass skyscrapers with no old beautiful historic buildings to break up the blandness.

    The street activation in that area is basically non existent and this huge above ground park just exacerbates the problem.

    1. well, yeah, when you put a park 50 feet up in the air, it’s hard to make it street-vibrant. That was why they wanted the gondola ride from mission street to make it more accessible, rather than going through multiple escalators inside the terminal to get there (which you can do)

    2. Really? That’s odd, Manhattanite, Rob Marciano (ABC News chief meteorologist who recently was on assignment for the North Bay fires), raved on-air at what a spectacular vista Downtown San Francisco presents upon one’s entering from the Bay Bridge.

    3. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to actually walk at street level around the terminal park because I think it actually doesn’t put off the anti-street vibrancy vibe. We were constrained to walking the perimeter of the transit center at street level on Saturday afternoon (got there after the fire marshall had arrived and slowed the entry into the park) and we noticed how well it fit in and complemented some of the older buildings and alleyways (e.g. Minna) whose businesses should flourish w/the new park (e.g. places like Salt House, Harlot on the backside, Anchor & Hope). Bring in the new restaurants and coffees shops (Philz and Boutique Crenn) that will also be ground level and I think it will do a great deal to add some vibrancy to the area.

    4. If the High Line is any indication it will bring life to all the adjacent streets. The HL was the impetus for all nearby blocks and it’s still unstoppable. The HL being an anchor park albeit up a level. I realize it’s longer than this park, but lessons to be learned. I expect this park to be wildly popular even more so as another 10-15 towers are constructed adjacent — and will be inspiration for future capping of elevated highways in our increasingly residential hoods.

  7. Any word if there is going to be any retail/restaurants opening at the same time? Rooftop/park beer garden would be wonderful

    1. they are looking to have food trucks while the permanent retail space is being built out for the next 6-12 months.

      there is an amphitheater space on the roof with a restaurant space adjacent, but again not ready til 2019.

  8. SF should have built something narrow and long like the wonderful 1.45 mile High Line Park in Manhattan. The repurposing of that elevated rail way in Manhattan created a beautiful and charming linear park surrounded by beautiful historic and modern architecture of all heights, and without completely overwhelming the neighborhood streets.

    This S.F. park unfortunately looks like a giant bathtub dropped in the middle of downtown SF blocking out any light while crushing all life below at street level.

    1. There is no elevated railway to repurpose in SF. And there just is no way to compare this plastic park to infinitely more organic High Line Park. So let’s not depress ourselves by making the comparison. It’s still a good use of the roof that would’ve been worthless for solar panels.

      1. I’ve heard talk of repurposing the Central Freeway overpass as a High Line style park. It could work, though I’d prefer to tear it down.

    2. It does NOT completely overwhelm anything and the adjacent streets are still quite busy during the workday. This is a business area so on weekends it may be quieter but that’s true of all cities that have concentrated business districts. As I understand it, even Natoma St alongside the structure will have open air seating and shopping/dining options eventually.

    3. Compared to the old terminal which had very low overpasses over beale, fremont and 1st, this is much higher and brighter so it is not quite as oppressive feeling (plus it doesn’t go over beale anymore at all).

    4. I wasn’t aware that people are so terrified of a building’s shadow. I walked past it this morning to put things mildly, light was not blocked out. It was pleasant.

      During the week, anyway, the sidewalks are packed. They are in no way shape or form crushed of all street life.

    5. “blocking out any light while crushing all life below at street level.”

      See my earlier comment about actually walking and experiencing it firsthand. Agreed w/some of the other comments here re: light.

      As far as the ‘crushing,’ part: this is actually placed between two main streets (Mission and Howard) on the north and south; and the same on the east and west (Beale and 2nd). If anything, this will help inject some life onto Minna Street, which has basically been a somewhat forgotten alleyway with a few businesses (Anchor & Hope, Harlot) along this stretch of the neighborhood.

  9. OK I took a tour of this last week, I am in one of the (shorter) buildings next door. This is what I heard:

    1) park is public but privately sponsored and so they have rights to close it completely for events, including a salesforce convention at the end of september. Even without events, park is closed every night about 8pm.

    2) terminal building itself is not 24 hours, it is closed about 1am to 5am each day.

    3) the gondola ride is privately financed and constructed (same folks as salesforce tower), and isn’t going to be ready til september.

    4) there will be a fair amount of security people (hence $20m/year) and cameras that will be on patrol and can shoo people away if they break rules or they can call cops if needed. They are *hoping* this will help keep transient issues under control. Note that the direct-connected buildings have a keen interest on not having the park turn into a disaster zone. Also note that many of the benches are ‘single seat’ to avoid people lying down on them, so there was some thought about the matter in construction.

    5) retail spaces are still under construction and will not be completed til 2019, which includes the spaces for the already-signed-tenants They expect to have ‘temporary’ food trucks in the meanwhile on the natoma pedestrian area.

    6) as everyone knows by now, the lower level rail deck and ticket hall are completely not ready and will be off limits for a long time. I asked if they could find ways to use the space for other things in the meanwhile, they said they are ‘considering’ something along those lines.

    Overall the building is very nice, but yes it is quite clear it was envisioned as being an HSR terminal, not a fancy bus stop. But as I take the bus every day, I’ll be happy with a very fancy bus stop.

    1. This all sounds great. Why should we have to expect any less at the Mission Street BART station?

      How much would 5 crews of mobile weekly power washers cost the city?

      1. well, of course (16th) and mission street doesn’t have a 5-acre park on top of it with 1000 foot skyscraper next to it leased by a tech firm willing to pony up some dough to keep the park tidy.

        1. That’s my point – the general public shouldn’t have to settle for filth while gated community features crown public transportation hubs. Poop covered streets are a tragedy of the commons municipal government should be expected to prevent.

          1. If the general public complained enough to their supervisors to crack down on the poopers (which is an illegal activity), then it would diminish. But there’s no appetite for doing that because it ‘criminalizes homelessness’ (and no, homelessness is not criminal, but pooping on the streets IS). So until folks can come to grips with that, unfortunately you will probably only see private gated stuff be better off.

          2. Yep, the general public continues to vote themselves those poop covered streets, time after time.

          3. In case you haven’t been keeping up with current events, public and street defecation was a major issue in the recent Mayoral race. From the New York Times two months ago, Talking to London Breed About Her Plans for San Francisco:

            …my priority, yes, is to clean up San Francisco. We need to make sure that people don’t feel that it’s O.K. to throw trash or urinate or defecate on the sidewalks. Yes, we have people who are mentally ill and there are people with challenges but we should not accept that kind of behavior from our residents.

            Emphasis mine.

            So folks who elected the most recent mayor certainly seem to me, at least, to have come to grips with the difference between criminalizing homelessness and street defecation and are voting accordingly: against, not in favor of, poop covered streets. Although, to be fair, I never heard Mark Leno come out in favor of poop covered streets.

          4. I think you and I have a different definition of “plan”. I didn’t see any concrete proposals. There is no “cracking down” on pooping, pooping is not a choice for anyone, if you want less poop then you provide public restrooms. And not expensive ones that will take years to install and then break. This city has done nothing to de-criminalize homelessness, except passing out millions of plastic needles, only 60% of which are recovered. All they do is sweep the homeless from from one area to another when the complaints become too great, while confiscating their belongings in the process. Has any politician so much as proposed allowing them a place to pitch their tents?

    2. Train box rave/disco! Cool underground art gallery! There is so much awesome stuff you could do with that space for the decade+ until we even start the build for bringing in rail. Hopefully they take advantage.

      1. Yes, and then when its time to finally use the underground space for the purpose it was built, the crazy folks in SF will say the “rave disco” is a heritage disco that should not be relocated without a full 4 year CEQA study paid for by the owners.

      2. A transient nightclub would be a great use of the trainbox. Crank it up to eleven and nobody will ever complain

  10. Is it dog friendly? Or like the Yerba Buena gardens are the $15 dollar an hour rent-a-cops going to hassle me for passing through the park with my dog?

    1. it does not appear to be dog-friendly, only because the main way to get up there is escalator (which is inherently not dog friendly), there are elevators too.

      They plan on recycling the water that goes into the garden, so I would assume that would make them want to limit dog (and human, for that matter) pee and poo.

  11. Will check it out in a couple of years after all the shops are leased, open to the public, and kinks worked out. In the meantime, will ride a high speed rail outside this country.

  12. A beautiful project that’ll last for ages, long after people forget what Salesforce is and we’re on our fifth renaming. I’ll take it.

    Yes, we should have projects done sooner. You could build the DTX first or the station first. Building the station first is a great idea, people will see it, fully get it, then put the pressure on to make DTX happen faster or sooner. Maybe with stronger Democratic control of the Federal budget (to which we all chip in most generously) post-2020, we can accelerate the DTX. When that happens, we’ll have Caltrain / HSR ready center to go on Day 1, whenever that is.

    1. You mean putting on the pressure by voting Yes for the DTX on a CA ballot? Been there. Done that. Don’t hold out on the Dems for pushing through Federal funds. After all, how much did we get from 2008-2016?

      1. Um, well during 2008-16 (a time when there were primarily unfriendly R’s controlling congress) our locals were still able to bring in funding, starting or completing: the new Bay Bridge, Central Subway, Devils Slide tunnels, Doyle Drive rebuild, Caltrain Electrification, new BART rolling stock, etc etc… So a little more pressure and the right political environment to build DTX (and expand/improve MUNI, 2nd BART tube, HSR etc etc..) might get it done sooner than the 2030 date that’s become CW.

        All of which is to say: it’s great the terminal was built first. Nice work TJPA for persisting and making something big happen.

        1. Right, because we all know those projects, many of them proposed in the 90s, were completed on time and on budget. 2030 date for DTX…will…never…happen…regardless of any pressure placed on any political party in office. The problem is lack of concern or impetus at the local level. That’s right.

    2. 10 years ago, we had a bus station connected via ramps to the bridge and today we have the same things. DTX absolutely should’ve been done first, so at least we have some much improved connectivity.

      The temporary terminal was still close to the old one, that it could remain there until natural real-estate development pressures desiring to use that space would build the station.

  13. Los Angeles chose the opposite approach and is spending most of its regional hub money on bringing subway, train, and bus lines all to one central “Union Station” terminal. They won’t have a blob with a park on the roof, but you will be able to interconnect to various Amtrack, Metrolink, light rail ( 6 different lines), subway (3 different lines) and bus lines all under one roof. IF Caltrain ever happens, it will connect there as well.

    1. You mean the city that started the sprawl culture is actually more proactive and concerned than our Transit First city? Yes, LA is doing it right. SF is doing it all wrong, but it’s par for the course.

  14. The new Transbay Terminal is beautiful. Embrace change and be thankful SalesForce has bucks to maintain the public park. Cheers.

  15. As to the “wall on the walk” of this park, – several points. Foundry Square’s mid-rise buildings are a blessing. They open up the park on it’s eastern end. 524 Howard is not going forward as planned. Residences don’t pencil now but a smallish 15 story hotel might. Opening up, more accurately keeping open, another segment of the park perimeter. The unknown is Parcel F. That project would overwhelm and shadow the western end of the park. Given the current market, that project likely won’t go forward for years and may perhaps be significantly downsized. If things work out and the Parcel F building is shortened, the southern side of the park will end up with mostly mid-rise structure. And the park will be opened up to the skies above – partially so anyway.

    1. Unlike you, I’m hoping for Parcel F to be significantly “upsized”. Would LOVE to have another supertall nearby to admire. Like I said about the sun, we are downtown aren’t we? Go to Dolores Park for sunshine (or any other place outside of downtown eastern half of city.

      1. Absurd downgrading of the experience to be had with such an amenity. “Dave” was right suggesting a much downsized boutique hotel for this strategic location. A mega-tower at its SW corner would cast a perpetual gloom every afternoon of every season. Lunacy to even contemplate such a thing

        1. Right now the south side is somewhat open. If 524 Howard (at 490 feet or so) the lot next door (which is on the market and touted as a major hi-rise site) and Parcel F are built out the park will be enveloped and shadowed. A major degradation of this new amenity. In hindsight, zoning on the southern side of the park should have been restricted to mid-rise buildings. No more than 10 or 15 stories – like Foundry Square. If 524 Howard does not start construction within its entitlement window Planning should not extend the entitlement. Instead let it lapse and re-zone the parcel for a 10, 12, 15 story building. Likewise do not approve any hi-rise on the adjacent lot. Parcel F is the real issue. That mega-tower would indeed ruin the western end of the park. Something has to give. As people come to enjoy the park watch for opposition to emerge to more towers along the immediate southern edge of the park.

          1. Nah, there will not be any opposition . Parcel F is going through the approval process now. On an average weekday, most people who will be using the Park will be people emptying out of the Officer Towers. They are young and don’t care about shadows or how high a building is. This is why they live in The City, urbanism. They are not urban armchair critics like yourself.

        2. I think you’re mistaking “gloom” for “shade”. Really, it’s just a shadow. No big deal. And considering that the larger the building, the more SF gets in property taxes, I’m all for a tower.

          1. Hardly. This would be the deep shadow of a behemoth directly on top of it daily cast the length of the park, not the penumbra of diffuse sunlight of a more distant, less strategically located structure. The current proposal for Parcel F is nothing short of a 21st Century Fontana Tower– the absolute worst possible design in the absolute worst possible place.

            Must be rethought

          2. Maybe I’m abnormally healthy, but I walk through shadows every day and they don’t have any apparent effect on me.

            So it casts a shadow! It’s in the middle of downtown! The park is literally surrounded already by tall buildings. I don’t see the problem. On a warm day, or for people who don’t want sunburn, a shadow would be preferable.

          3. You sound like those failures of the 1960’s who spied a sliver of the Bay between those obnoxious slabs and wondered, “What’s the problem?”

            Absolute worst possible design in the absolute worst possible place.

            Let’s not repeat the same blunder!

          4. That is a very strained analogy. But if “dangerous shadows!” is your best argument to prevent a building from being built and contributing taxes to San Francisco, that’s the one you should use.

          5. How about a park with lots of sunshine and an open feel?! Plants and tress would love the sunshine and people would love the rays too – and the open feel. The Parcel F tower is a complete mediocrity. Even if it were not, that key corner of the park needs to be kept as open as possible. As in a much smaller project such as a boutique hotel. A deserving alternative that should be considered. The developer paid a pretty penny for the site (too much IMO) so what to do? Be creative. In exchange for the developer going significantly smaller there how about giving that developer a one year M large pool allotment. An allotment they can use to build a separate office project in SF. The existing F proposal includes a large residential component and, with large residential projects being abandoned in SF, the viability of that portion of the F tower may be in question. Who knows, the developer may want to drop that portion of the project anyway.

          6. Like I said, if the best argument you have against a building is that it causes shade, use that one. (This works against ever building anything, so it’s a great nimby argument)

            But I’d rather have the tens of millions in tax revenue we would get every year. Someone has to pay for the park, remember.

  16. “…the first four (4) leases for the center’s thirty-five (35) potential retail/restaurant/commercial spaces have been inked….”

    We should make predictions on when a large amount (say 30) of the spaces are operational. My guess is that it will coincide with DTX becoming operational so say November 1, 2032, right before President Ivanka is elected.

  17. I remember the uber ugly, cold and dark greyhound bus station that used to be there. This new transit center is infinitely way better….light filled, airy, modern, a 5 plus acre park, gondola, open air theatre, and some of the best views in the city. I’m happy to counter all the negative comments posted as this is very much improved from what the city used to have.

  18. Just arrived at the “ampitheatre”. It is no such thing, but it is a nice lawn to strech out on.

    First impression: much narrower than I expected. I like the exhibitions of various mediterranean plant biomes around the edges.

    Bottom line: feels like a cross between YBG and the elevated walkway between the EBC buildings. A unique addition to the city. Office bees will use the hell out of it during lunch.

    1. Yeah, it’s a nice little place to sit outside. I’m not sure why people are up in arms about it. If I worked nearby, as many people do, I’d have lunch here all the time.

  19. The terminal does look cool. But, the project turns out to have been a bait and switch. Sold as an “intermodal” station, it is served by only one form of transportation: buses. No trains and not even an underground pedestrian walkway to BART. An expensive bus terminal is likely all it will ever be.

    1. Indeed. Part of the “bait and switch” was to have an excuse for the massive increase in heights on some of the parcels. So developers could make a ton of money and the city receive large amounts of money from selling some sites – Parcel F for instance. HSR will never come to the TTC – DTX may one day but that is 15 plus years away. If you want an intermodal transportation hub take a short trip to LA an visit Union Station.

    2. I love the rooftop park, but I predict we will never see HSR, which will eventually be killed. The Caltrain extension is probable — eventually. But not before 2028.

      1. If we didn’t build the train box now, then DTX and HSR would be impossible. At least we have the destination.

        It would have been so much smarter to spend the money we wasted on the Central Subway on DTX, but that’s a whole separate question.

        1. The bigger problem is that too many people view this as an either/or choice. It’s absolutely not. The Central Subway should be built (and also extended beyond Chinatown) AND the DTX should be built. The regional powers that be have utterly failed to properly advocate for this from a financial perspective. If LA can pass a $100+ billion measure to fund transit expansion, there’s no reason the Bay Area can’t do the same (even if it were only for half as much).

          1. I was just prioritizing. DTX should have been the top priority. (Next I would say extending BART under Geary.)

          2. You’re absolutely right. Our politicians and community groups needs to advocate for increased spending on infrastructure including transit.

          3. I think a second transbay rail crossing is more important (and realistically needs to come first) than a Geary BART extension. Go with the SPUR recommendation to build a Caltrain turn back loop northeast of the Transbay Terminal and have an offshoot of it join up with a second transbay BART tube that goes to Oakland via Alameda and a repurposed 980. That gets Caltrain and HSR to Oakland, and lays the prep work for a Geary/19th Ave BART extension.

    3. Both DTX and HSR will eventually be built. The only question is “when?”. No amount of self driving taxis or drones will ever address the transportation needs of downtown SF.

      This is all just a matter of political will. There are no technological obstacles and the economics already make sense, let alone in a future of a million SF residents and increasing gas prices.

  20. According to news, the Transit Center is running an $8 million deficit for this year and expecting about 18-19,000 people a day versus a projected 100,000. In addition, the mall space is still incomplete. As such, it is a fiscal debacle and it will depend heavily on bridge tolls to support it ($17 million/year which is over 3 times the cost of the old terminal and temp terminal). While the garden looks nice, it will cost something like $8 million a year in security costs for the terminal. In other words, the actual product does not meet any of the projections used to get it passed, and it will cost millions of dollars more than estimated. As with all of these kinds of projects, the taxpayers will be holding the bag, and, once they cut the security and maintenance budgets, it will end up being a garbage dump like the old terminal (only it will be a $2.2 billion dump).

    1. This is the problem when the key component infrastructure (major transport hub for HSR) is not in place before the surrounding area is built up. This isn’t a destination for people beyond those working and living in the area or the commuters who use the bus lines. Frankly, there isn’t sufficient retail money to support just keeping the lights on and doors open.

      I visited the Oculus which is the transportation hub, high end retail center of the World Trade Center stop in NYC a few years ago. They were still painting the drywall so it wasn’t quite open to the public yet. Despite being in NYC, retail needed to rely on the subway stop, the nearby new residential and office high rises, and throngs of tourists visiting the World Trade Center Memorial. Am sure in the next recession, some of those high end shops will go out of business.

      1. No: this is the problem when a project that has no economic viability – other than having found someone, somewhere to pay for it (they hoped) – comes to be considered “key”.

    2. This is the problem. Not sure how accurate those numbers are but certainly the number of people passing through and around the TTC will be many times smaller given the lack of any rail service. That impacts the viability of the shops/retail. In a big way. Had this been a true intermodal hub the tourist component would have driven high end shops and galleries in addition to all the rest. That won’t happen now. In fact this will become mostly a worker visited retail center which will close down after 5PM and be sparsely used on weekends – instead of the 24/7 venue it might have been. Time will tell how quickly the spaces are leased and how well they do but there is a world of difference between 19K/day and 100K/day.

    3. All the more reason to get DTX done, especially as Caltrain is finally electrifying. That would bring thousands more people in.

      1. I don’t know what all the concern is with inadequate ‘foot traffic’ – there’s plenty of foot traffic in the area due to all the office buildings nearby, plus people are clearly going to go to the park so you don’t have to depend solely on commuters. And even without trains, just repurpose that lower level space temporarily for some other event that can draw people in as well. It’s a shame to have that huge covered space just sitting there forlornly for decade or more for trains to come.

  21. I checked it out yesterday. I was underwhelmed. The exterior is kinda nice, but there’s nothing ‘grand’ about the interior design. Didn’t care much for the ‘art’. The best thing about it is the rooftop park. And the best thing about the rooftop park is the view of the skyscrapers that surround it.

    I hope the proposed developments on Howard go up as planned, soon. And I cursed Salesforce for cutting down the redwoods in the street level plaza before they were even planted.

    We need more 1,000′ + buildings in SF!

  22. I haven’t been there yet but the park and transit center looks gorgeous. The problem I have is their miscalculation for rail service. If they had prioritize rail and bus service at the same time, they might have spent the money on it at the same time and open with both services instead of just being a bus station right now. Also, can somebody tell me why they didn’t think about including BART in this transit center? That would have been a great idea.

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