The Program

The Transbay Program is a visionary transportation and housing project that has transformed downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional transportation system by creating a world class transportation hub in the heart of a new neighborhood. The project replaced the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets in San Francisco with a modern regional transit hub connecting the Bay Area and ultimately the State of California through: AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, Paratransit and future High Speed Rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim.

Read here about the Transbay Program’s dramatic evolution from the opening of the Transbay Terminal in 1939 all the way to connecting the state through High Speed Rail in the coming years – DELIVERING ON THE VISION

The project consists of three interconnected elements:

  • Replacing the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets
  • Extending Caltrain and California High-Speed Rail underground from Caltrain’s current terminus at 4th and King Streets into the new downtown Salesforce Transit Center
  • Creating a new neighborhood with homes, offices, parks, and shops surrounding the new transit center

The first phase of the project resulted in a new five-story transit center with a bus plaza, bus deck, retail space, rooftop park, and two below-grade rail levels that will serve Caltrain and future California High-Speed Rail. Phase I also created a new bus ramp connecting the transit center to a new off-site bus storage facility and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), the new transit center features a 5.4 acre rooftop park.

The new elevated bus ramp enters the transit center from the west providing direct bus connections to and from the Salesforce Transit Center and the Bay Bridge. The new reduced bus ramp system opened up parcels of land for development opportunities that helped finance the project.


The Salesforce Transit Center and Caltrain Downtown Extension Program costs are estimated at approximately $6 billion, escalated to the year of expenditure (YOE) 2016. The first phase of the project included construction of the above-ground portion of the new intermodal transit center, bus ramp and bus storage facility. It also included the construction of the Temporary Terminal that served passengers while the new transit center was built. On June 11, 2009, the TJPA Board directed the Transit Center’s architect to also include the below-grade rail levels in the design, rather than just rail foundations as had been previously planned in the phasing. The TJPA is actively seeking funding for the rail tunnels. The second phase of the project will complete the 1.3-mile extension (1.95 miles of total construction length) of the Caltrain rail line from Fourth and King streets underground into the new transit center.