Downtown SF Rail Extension, Cornerstone of Regional Transit Network, Achieves New Milestone

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), which owns and operates the multimodal Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco, announced the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) acceptance of the Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) project, which will extend Caltrain’s rail service and ultimately, the statewide California High-Speed Rail system, into the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. Having this project enter the CIG program now puts the project on track to maintain the goal of submitting a full funding grant request by 2023, during an exciting time for once-in-a-generation transit funding on the federal level. The Bay Area Council was proud to advocate for this important project.

The DTX project received FTA environmental clearance in 2019. The benefits of DTX extend far beyond San Francisco, connecting the Peninsula corridor along with transit connections across the region through the multi-modal Transit Center by creating easy transfers across 11 diffeent public transit providers in the region serving an estimated 90,000 riders daily; providing a one-seat ride from the Peninsula / Los Angeles into downtown San Francisco and providing two-way connections to different parts of the Bay Area and ultimately, the State of California; reducing greenhouse gas emissions, vehicle-miles traveled and climate change impacts; and creating thousands of jobs not only locally and regionally,

Funding for the DTX project will come from local, regional, state and federal sources. Last month, $30 million in Transbay Transit Center Community Facilities District bonds were issued providing the committed funding required for DTX to enter the New Starts pipeline, with additional funding for engineering work pledged by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrain, and California High Speed Rail Authority.

Completion of the DTX project will deliver the 1999 Proposition H voter mandate to extend Caltrain rail service into downtown San Francisco and enhance the Bay Area’s integrated regional transportation system. It is a key rail connection for the region and the State with a tunnel alignment extending from Caltrain’s Fourth and King Station to the Salesforce Transit Center, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s northern terminus.

Photo credit: Transbay Joint Powers Authority

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