Phase 1 of the massive Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco, which has been dubbed the “Grand Central Station of the West,” is on schedule for completion in fall 2017, project Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan told the Bay Area Council’s Transportation Committee on Thursday (Oct. 2). Ayerdi-Kaplan and her team took the committee through a short history of the project, the many elements it includes and the array of funding sources that will pay for the estimated $4.5 billion multi-use center. Ayerdi-Kaplan briefly touched on the current dispute over one of the project’s key funding sources and concerns that it might jeopardize both the schedule and what gets built. She reiterated that the project remains on schedule and noted that it has weathered numerous hurdles over many years as it has moved from vision to planning to construction. You can learn more about the project at Transbay Transit Center.

The Committee, chaired by Arup Principal John Eddy, also heard from Heller Manus Architects President Jeff Heller about his vision for a second BART transbay tube.  With nearly 400,000 riders daily, BART ridership is outgrowing capacity and future growth is expected to increase peak direction passengers across the bay by 43 percent.  A second BART tube would vastly increase capacity and improve service reliability.  Heller demonstrated several potential areas where the second BART tube could be routed, including through Jack London Square and Alameda in East Bay, and near AT&T Park and Mission Bay on the San Francisco end. Read Heller’s OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle on a second BART tube.

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