SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — The new Transbay Terminal is set to open in downtown San Francisco this weekend with muni buses scheduled to start picking up and dropping off passengers there Saturday.
The final dress rehearsal was held Friday for some Muni bus drivers getting used to maneuvering into the brand-new terminal.
“Tomorrow, we’re going to really fully start up service at the Muni bus plaza of the new Transbay Terminal,” said Ed Reiskin, the Director of the SFMTA.
Reiskin said the 5, 7 and 38 lines that currently stop at the temporary terminal will be moved to their new home Saturday.
San Francisco’s Muni is the first transit agency to use the terminal.
“We’re getting in there in advance of the full facility opening just because our part was ready, we didn’t want to wait,” said Reiskin. “We’ve spent a lot of money and waited a long time to have the facility. My feeling was let’s get in there as soon as it’s ready for us.”
In August, other bus lines like AC Transit will start service into the terminal. It’s been a long time since Bay Area commuters have seen a transit station looking so clean.
State senator Scott Wiener says buses don’t get enough credit
“I’ll be honest that when we have these transit debates and fights, whether its here or up in Sacramento or elsewhere, I feel like buses get the short end of the straw,” said Wiener. “Which is disappointing, because it matters so much. And across the country, it’s buses that are carrying particularly transit dependent people.”
The terminal has cost $2.25 billion so far. It was envisioned as the Grand Central Station of the west with Caltrain and high-speed rail stops, but that is a long way off.
“I think we’re looking at somewhere in the range of 2027-2028, so about ten years is what we’re aiming for to get trains here,” explained Reiskin.
There’s also a money problem. The project needs at least another $4 billion to get the trains running. There is no clear plan how to accomplish that yet
“It’ll take some work to assemble the funding for four, or maybe five or six billion dollars that we’ll need to really make this happen,” said Reiskin.
While the Bay Area waits a decade or more for the trains, the $2.25 billion terminal will be a park, shopping area and a bus station.
“While it’s a great bus terminal — that was its primary function — it’s also going to be a great community amenity,” said Reiskin.