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Transit Center's Bus Plaza Rolls to Life

SF Muni Lines Using Outdoor Bus Plaza
The multi-lane outdoor bus plaza is tucked under the Transit Center's dramatic superstructure.
Brenda Kahn

There’s life at San Francisco’s striking new Salesforce Transit Center now that several Muni lines are using the street-level bus plaza. As of Saturday, June 16, 2018, the bus plaza became operational for Muni routes 5/5R, 7 and 38/38R (the 5 actually began service at the Transit Center in December 2017).

The three-block long, four-story high regional transportation hub sits just south of Mission Street between Second and Beale streets, and the exterior bus plaza can be accessed from Beale Street or Fremont Street, between Minna and Natoma.

The interior of the Transit Center is scheduled to open later this summer. It will include a two-block-long bus deck for AC Transit’s and WestCAT’s transbay buses, Amtrak Thruway and Greyhound buses, and Muni service to Treasure Island (#25). Billed as the Grand Central Station of the West, the building also will incorporate a three-platform, six-track train station underground (to be activated at a later date).

In addition to its transit features, the terminal will offer a range of features:

  • A stunning Grand Hall entrance lobby with a terrazzo floor evoking California’s landscape
  • A five-acre rooftop public park with trees from around the world and numerous amenities, including eateries, an amphitheater, a jogging/walking track around the perimeter and a linear water feature whose fountains will mirror the movements of buses as they traverse the interior bus bays
  • A gondola to whisk people from the street to the rooftop
  • Multi-level building retail space, bicycle parking and administrative offices
  • Ancillary projects, including a public plaza on Mission Street west of Fremont Street

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) ambassadors are stationed strategically in the vicinity of the new hub and the nearby Transbay Temporary Terminal this week to direct travelers to their routes.

Longer term, Caltrain train service from the Peninsula and eventually California High-Speed Rail trains from Southern California are scheduled to serve the underground station at the Transit Center.

The original Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets opened in 1939 and was a regional transit hub for over 60 years. It was closed and demolished in 2010 to make way for the new world-class Transit Center. While construction of the new Salesforce Transit Center took place, the temporary Transbay Terminal served more than a half dozen transit systems for eight years.

MTC is a major funder of the Salesforce Transit Center, providing more than $360 million for the $2.3 billion project. Go to SFMTA's website for more info.

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