Every day 280,000 Peninsula cars go back and forth across the San Mateo/San Francisco County line, clogging city streets, delaying Muni service and generating greenhouse gas emissions. According to MTC this onslaught is projected to increase to almost 310,000 cars a day by 2035. The need for a better and faster way of getting to San Francisco from the South is obvious.
Extending Caltrain (the Peninsula commuter rail system) to San Francisco’s new downtown bus and train center will achieve this objective. Fortunately the Downtown Caltrain Extension Project (DTX) is now well along. All the environmental clearances, and local, regional, State and federal approvals are in place. Thanks to a $400 million Stimulus grant from the federal government, the Center’s huge below grade “train box” has been excavated. With adequate funding the DTX project can advance into its Final Design/Build/Operate Phase within a year, thereby making it possible to have Caltrain up and running in San Francisco’s new International Transit Center by 2022 or 2023. All that’s lacking is strong local political support to acquire the remainder of the funding.
It’s time to build the 1.3 mile DTX tunnel. Doing so will connect the well-run and increasingly popular existing 78-mile long Caltrain commuter rail line to 10 other local and regional rail lines and over 40 bus lines in downtown San Francisco. When completed this great new nexus of rail and bus lines will quickly become of the great transit centers of the world.
It is hoped that Mayor Lee will recognize the importance of San Francisco’s new Transit Center in time to become the champion of getting Caltrain extended without further delay. If he does, the San Francisco International Transit Center will undoubtedly become his most enduring legacy.
If you wish to be notified of further meetings about the DTX project, please contact either Robert Feinbaum