THE DOWNTOWN RAIL EXTENSION PROJECT ENTERS THE FTA CAPITAL INVESTMENT GRANTS FUNDING PROGRAM
San Francisco, CA – Today, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), owner and operator of 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 Project Development (PD) phase of the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.
“Acceptance of DTX into the CIG program marks a key milestone in advancing this transformational project forward that will bring rail service into downtown San Francisco and provide an integrated transit system to the Bay Area by jumpstarting the project funding stream,” said Jeff Gee, Chair of the TJPA Board of Directors. “Having this project enter the CIG program now puts the project on track to maintain our 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 CIG program provides funding for large transit project investments such as new and expanded rail service, including the New Starts program that funds new projects or extensions to existing fixed guideway systems with a total estimated capital cost of $300 million or more. The recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $23 billion over five-years for the CIG program. Acceptance of the DTX project into the PD phase of the CIG program is the first step of the three-part process with entry to the Engineering phase expected in 2023 and signing of a grant agreement targeted for 2025.
“We are pleased by the FTA’s approval of the DTX project as it will bring us closer to getting this shovel-worthy project into construction,” said Nila Gonzales, TJPA Interim Executive Director. “We look forward to working with FTA Region 9 staff in completing the tasks necessary to advance DTX in the CIG program.”
The FTA’s acceptance of DTX into the PD phase provides the TJPA pre-award authority to incur costs for activities - including engineering and design, development of a cost
estimate and financial plan, utility relocation, and real property costs - prior to FTA grant approval, while allowing these expenditures to be counted towards TJPA’s matching funds obligation.
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. Each CIG phase will require identification of increased levels of funding commitment to ensure continued progress in the program along with satisfactory completion of the technical activities needed to evaluate the project per FTA guidelines.
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.
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 to the East, North and South Bays through the multi-modal Transit Center by creating easy transfers across 11 different 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, but nationally.
For more information about the FTA’s CIG program, visit https://www.transit.dot.gov/CIG.
About the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA):
The TJPA is owner and operator of the multimodal Salesforce Transit Center, connecting nine-Bay Area transit systems and the public Rooftop Park, providing free activities throughout the year. TJPA is working to extend Caltrain and ultimately, California High-Speed Rail service from 4th and King streets to the Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco through the Downtown Rail Extension project. The name of the Salesforce Transit Center is the result of a naming rights agreement with salesforce.com that helps fund the Center’s operating costs.