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Yesterday, Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) officials joined several high-profile government officials in San Francisco to commemorate a symbolic moment in the evolution of U.S. high-speed rail: the first shovel in the ground at the future site of the first new U.S. high-speed rail station.
As designed, the $4.2 billion Transbay Transit Center — the northern terminus for the proposed California high-speed rail system — will accommodate 11 transit operators and serve more than 45 million passengers a year if it opens as scheduled in the summer of 2017.
“Today, in breaking ground on the Transbay Transit Center, we are opening a new chapter in that history of progress,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a prepared statement. “We are coming together to create jobs and revitalize our economy, and we are laying the first building blocks of a new ‘Grand Central Station of the West.’”
Added U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: “This is one of the most important and transformational public transportation projects in America. Once the dust has settled, San Francisco’s skyline will be transformed — as will transportation, housing, and employment choices for people across the Bay area and beyond.”
The five-story Transit Center will feature one above-grade bus level, a ground floor entrance on Mission Street, concourse level, and two below-grade rail levels serving Caltrain and the Golden State’s high-speed rail system.
“We are all committed to building a world-class high-speed rail system and this groundbreaking signals another step in the process of making that system a reality,” said California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Curt Pringle. “We’re pleased that the Transbay Joint Powers Authority has made the future development of a high-speed rail system a centerpiece of its planning for this multi-modal transit center.”
The project's cost will be covered by various funding partners, including the federal government, the state of California, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco County and San Mateo County Transportation Authorities, and AC Transit, among others. The project’s first phase, which includes constructing the new Transit Center, is fully funded, according to a prepared statement.