SAN FRANCISCO—The “Grand Central Station of the West” is reportedly facing rising costs and funding woes, as Bay Area Transportation officials reveal that the transit project will cost $300 million more than initially estimated.
In a meeting publicized by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, officials from the aforementioned agency and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority spoke on the need to fund the first phase of the project while uncovering ways to fund future phases.
The first phase aims to create a new five-story Transit Center at First and Mission Streets with one ground-floor bus level and two below-grade rail levels, which will serve Caltrain and future high speed rails, while also maintaining a temporary terminal before it is demolished to make room for the new center.
Costs for the first phase of the to-date, phase two project have risen from $1.6 billion to $1.9 billion.
To cover the rising costs, transportation officials disclosed that funds for the second phase of the project are being re-allocated to the first phase, though the second phase of the project has yet to be fully funded itself.
The project consists of three objectives: to replace the old Transbay Terminal, to extend Caltrain and high speed rail services into the new downtown Transit Center, and to create a new, economical neighborhood around the newly constructed center.
Though they cited unexpected cost spikes due to federal security requirements and a strengthening economy, Bay Area Transportation officials are confident that the project will be completed.
The officials involved in the project are reportedly gathering funds by looking into rising land value and further Proposition K transportation sales tax funds, refinancing a federal infrastructure loan, borrowing toll money, changing design plans to lower costs, and hedging bets on acquiring a grant from the federal New Starts program.
Patrons may expect the terminal to be open in late 2017.
By Alex Mazariegos