San Francisco Transbay Transit Center undergoes temporary closing


Mariela Ramirez

The purpose of the bridge is to connect all of San Francisco’s transit services on one level.

Mariela Ramirez, Staff Writer

The closing of San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center is revealing more complications than meets the eye.

The $2 billion center opened to the public on Aug. 11, 2018, but was unexpectedly closed due to the discovery of two cracked beams.

The goal of the Transit Center is to replace the old, obsolete bus terminals and to create a hub for all major transportation in San Francisco, making it more convenient for residents and passing visitors to arrive at their destinations easier.

The temporary shut down has given residents a chance to reevaluate their views on the project.

“I think the Transbay Transit Center is a good idea because it gives you different means of transportation versus using your own car,” said Gisela Mendez, who lives near the Transit Center.

Although many are optimistic about what the project will bring to the surrounding communities, some are skeptical on whether or not the center will fulfill its purpose.

“I’m doubtful because we have been trying for over 20 years to get this project up and running,” Carlos Ramirez, a lifelong resident of San Francisco, said. “We’re just finishing phase one out of three and there is already a lot of backlash on tying Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal.”

Ramirez is a partner of The Hawthorne Group, whose offices are located four blocks south of the terminal.

The closing of the center does not only affect the people who rely on the terminal for daily commutes, but it has developed an issue for those in the surrounding area: traffic.

“Streets have to be blocked off in order to fix the damages which cause more backups and traffic throughout the day,” Mendez said.

Many residents in the area have experienced a rapid increase in traffic coming and going from all directions.

“It has created heavy gridlock for people crossing Market St. since this is one of the major traffic arteries heading north from South of Market to the financial district,” Ramirez said.

According to The Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the Transit Center will service AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Greyhound, Muni, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, and Paratransit.

Although multiple transit services are convenient for people in the city, accessibility can be challenging for those in smaller neighborhoods.

Sylvie Stulic is a resident of San Carlos and uses Caltrain and BART for occasional city outings.

Stulic said, “I would probably use the Transit Center if it had better access because none of the public transportation near me easily go to it.”

The question of how long the temporary closing will last is unknown and there are locals who would like to see the delay fixed.

“We’ve come too far to turn around and this project is essential for San Francisco’s growth,” Ramirez said.